On Memes and Memetics
A short description of meme
. Quotes from the links:
A meme (/ˈmiːm/ meem) is "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture." A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.
The word meme is a shortening (modeled on gene) of mimeme (from Ancient Greek μίμημα Greek pronunciation: [míːmɛːma] mīmēma, "imitated thing", from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai, "to imitate", from μῖμος mimos "mime") and it was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976) as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, fashion, and the technology of building arches.
Proponents theorize that memes may evolve by natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution. Memes do this through the processes of variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance, each of which influence a meme's reproductive success. Memes spread through the behavior that they generate in their hosts. Memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread, and (for better or for worse) mutate. Memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success, and some may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.
A field of study called memetics arose in the 1990s to explore the concepts and transmission of memes in terms of an evolutionary model.
The word meme originated with Richard Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Dawkins cites as inspiration the work of geneticist L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, anthropologist F. T. Cloak  and ethologist J. M. Cullen. Dawkins wrote that evolution depended not on the particular chemical basis of genetics, but only on the existence of a self-replicating unit of transmission—in the case of biological evolution, the gene. For Dawkins, the meme exemplified another self-replicating unit with potential significance in explaining human behavior and cultural evolution.
Dawkins used the term to refer to any cultural entity that an observer might consider a replicator. He hypothesised that one could view many cultural entities as replicators, and pointed to melodies, fashions and learned skills as examples. Memes generally replicate through exposure to humans, who have evolved as efficient copiers of information and behaviour. Because humans do not always copy memes perfectly, and because they may refine, combine or otherwise modify them with other memes to create new memes, they can change over time. Dawkins likened the process by which memes survive and change through the evolution of culture to the natural selection of genes in biological evolution.
Clusters of memes, or memeplexes (also known as meme complexes or as memecomplexes), such as cultural or political doctrines and systems, may also play a part in the acceptance of new memes. Memeplexes comprise groups of memes that replicate together and coadapt. Memes that fit within a successful memeplex may gain acceptance by "piggybacking" on the success of the memeplex.
Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from the popularization of Richard Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Proponents describe memetics as an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer.
Susan Blackmore (2002) re-stated the definition of meme as: whatever is copied from one person to another person, whether habits, skills, songs, stories, or any other kind of information. Further she said that memes, like genes, are replicators in the sense as defined by Dawkins. That is, they are information that is copied. Memes are copied by imitation, teaching and other methods. The copies are not perfect: memes are copied with variation; moreover, they compete for space in our memories and for the chance to be copied again. Only some of the variants can survive. The combination of these three elements (copies; variation; competition for survival) forms precisely the condition for Darwinian evolution, and so memes (and hence human cultures) evolve. Large groups of memes that are copied and passed on together are called co-adapted meme complexes, or memeplexes. In her definition, the way that a meme replicates is through imitation. This requires brain capacity to generally imitate a model or selectively imitate the model.
Memeplex - (an abbreviation of meme-complex) is a collection or grouping of memes that have evolved into a mutually supportive or symbiotic relationship. Simply put, a meme-complex is a set of ideas that reinforce each other. Meme-complexes are roughly analogous to the symbiotic collection of individual genes that make up the genetic codes of biological organisms. An example of a memeplex would be a religion.
Meme pool - a population of interbreeding memes.
Memetic engineering - The process of deliberately creating memes, using engineering principles.
A short description of memes and memetics linked here
Chapter 11 from Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene" linked here
Practical Memetics linked here
Memetics publications available on the internet linked here
Journal of Memetics: Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission, no longer in publication, linked here
An overview of the written technical history of the WTC1 and 2 collapse progression modes studied as memes
There is a systematic way to study WTC collapse references made in technical literature from 2001 to the present. Such a system-wide approach was taken in a paper titled:
Inheritance patterns in citation networks reveal scientific memes
by Tobias Kuhn, Matjaˇz Perc, and Dirk Helbing
The paper is linked here
Anyone who wishes could use a similar but less formal and powerful technique to map how well the the WTC collapse modes or a progressive floor collapse concept is understood within the written record as a whole.
Using these search techniques, citation and reference networks or any references to the WTC collapse progression mode can be observed and understood as an interacting whole.
From the paper:
Science is central to many key pillars of human culture, and probably the most popular concept to describe the most influential aspects of our culture is that of a meme. The term "meme" was coined by Richard Dawkins in his book The Self ish Gene , where he argues that cultural entities such as words, melodies, recipes, and ideas evolve similarly as genes, involving replication and mutation but using human culture instead of the gene pool as their medium of propagation. Re cent research on memes has enhanced our understanding of the dynamics of the news cycle , the tracking of informa tion epidemics in blogspace , and the political polarization on Twitter . It has been shown that the evolution of memes can be exploited effectively for inferring networks of diffusion and influence , and that information contained in memes is evolving as it is being processed collectively in online social media . The question of how memes compete with each other for the limited and fluctuating resource of user attention has also amassed the attention of scientists, who showed that social network structure is crucial for understanding the diversity of memes  and that their competition can bring the network at the brink of criticality , where even minute dis turbances can lead to avalanches of events that make a certain meme go viral .
While the study of memes in mass media and popular culture has been based primarily on their aggregated wave-like occurrence patterns, the citation network of scientific literature allows for more sophisticated and fine-grained analyses. Quantum, fission, graphene, self-organized criticality, and traffic flow are examples of well-known memes from the field of physics, but what exactly makes such memes different from other words and phrases found in the scientific literature? As an answer to this question, we propose the following definition that is modeled after Dawkins' underlying definition of the word "gene" : A scientific meme is a short unit of text in a publication that is replicated in citing publications and thereby distributed around in many copies; the more likely a certain sequence of words is to be broken apart, altered, or simply not present in citing publications, the less it qualifies to be called a meme. Publications that reproduce words or phrases from cited publications are thus the analog to offspring organisms that inherit genes from their parents. In contrast to existing work on scientific memes, our approach is therefore grounded in the "inheritance mechanisms" of memes and not just their accumulated frequencies.
According to our definition, scientific memes are entities that propagate within the network of citations. To identify them and study their properties and dynamics, we therefore need databases of scientific publications that include citation data. Here we rely on 47.1 million publication records from the Web of Science, PubMed Central and the American Physical Society. Due to their representative long-term coverage of a specific field of research, we focus mainly on the titles and abstracts of almost half a million publications of the Physical Review and the pertaining citation data, which were published between July 1893 and December 2009. To demonstrate the robustness of our method, we also present results for the over 46 million publications indexed by the Web of Science, and for the over 0.6 million publications from the open access subset of PubMed Central that covers research mostly from the biomedical domain and mostly from recent years.
Created on 09/05/2014 03:38 PM by admin
Updated on 11/14/2015 05:51 AM by admin