And memes are self-reinforcing. Talk about blindingly obvious. It’s my Catch-22. How do you argue rationally against scientific fundamentalism / logical positivism ?
I’ve read Dawkins, though I’ve still never read “The Meme Machine”, but now I’ve just read Susan Blackmore’s “Waking from the Meme Dream“. Stong Zen thread here – clearing the mind of those certainties of memes from the history of humanity – to allow a little doubt in. Waking from the collective dream that scientific rationale is the answer to everything.
I’d only previously seen memes as matter of fact metaphor for how ideas spread – I’d never seen it before as the reason why bad, but easy to understand, ideas become the norm. Again blindingly obvious. A natural selection process tending to conformance and common denominators in the space where ideas compete for airtime – the brain and the web of comms media. Where ideas are concerned good (fitness) equals easy to communicate / understand / fit the web of communication – fit with available schemata – it does not relate to any intrinsic value relationship between the content of the idea and it’s application in the world beyond communication itself, without some postive feedback. If we all hold logical / scientific schemata, and our feedback allways post-rationalises event outcomes against ideas as inputs, then all ideas will tend to be scientific.
BTW the “TAO” site (Hungarian ?!) where I found Susan’s paper has some magic content – lots of links to full texts of many interesting works including Pirsig’s ZMM naturally, only some of them in Hungarian.