Thursday, February 28, 2008


Chris introduced Susan Blackmore as a person who can completely re-orient your thinking on something. Let me just say that the only more re-orienting thing to happen today was when the very erudite and proper Doris Kearns Goodwin dropped the S word.

Here's a few points that blew my mind:
1. Memes are replicating information with variation and in that way they are acting like genes. In other words, memes are fighting for selection in the same way genetic mutations do. So the first replicator was genes. The second replicator is memes

2. Memes are responsible for our big brains because our species are very good replicators. Susan referenced and earlier talk by Louise Leakey who said that four or five branches of our species didn't make it. Susan postulated that memes may have been the big difference.

3. Memes co-evolve with us.

4. Most other species are not good replicators.

5. Temes are the next replicator. Temes are technology driven replicators. "Welcome to the Matrix."

The next session is starting in a second. So that's all for now. Go get her book "The Meme Machine."

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