Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Morning Scepticism: Memes

The idea of memes is intuitively valid, the lateral transmission of cultural ideas from mind to mind has a Darwinian appeal. For memes the brains of individuals are the environment by which they're selected, the ability to spread between minds their fitness. But without digital transmission, the notion of a meme might be little more than a metaphor and not really a solid foundation for adequately describing cultural evolution. Yet even as a metaphor it is a useful way of thinking about culture, to explain differences and commonalities among similar lines of thought in different cultures.

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