Re: virus: Memetic Evolution

Dave Pape (
Sun, 9 Feb 1997 21:20:22 GMT

At 11:28 07/02/97 -0800, Tim wrote:
>On Fri, 7 Feb 1997, Reed Konsler wrote:
>> I mean, why does memetics always have to be about WAR? Why does this have
>> to be a church where we are all proselytizing? I propose the paradigm of
>> "Art Studio". These are the ideas I choose to present today...not the
>> ultimate expression of my potential as a thinker. And perhaps through
>> discussion we can each become better artists than we might have been
>> before.
>Great model Reed! As a visual artist I'm behind this 100%. I stay up
>late arguing concepts with my friends all the time. Then, a couple of
>days later, we'll all come back with art or music or poetry that steals
>each others ideas or expands on them and the process starts all over
>again. That's what I see community being all about.
>Let's start a Movement here rather than a War.

I think that Movements incorporate memetic civil wars. That is, I don't
think that the memes within any Movement are ever fully compatible...

EG, I don't believe that the work of different painters in the Impressionist
movement didn't arise from totally compatible memes, because if it did, then
we wouldn't be able to distinguish the painters' styles.

Thus, within any movement I reckon there's memetic competition,
disagreement. There must've been aspects of Renoir's work that Matisse
liked, and also bits he DISliked, and vice versa.

Visual artists arguing with each other is memetic war within that Movement-
memes launching themselves in competitive battle with other memes. In that
respect, David R was right: argument is memetic war, just as human war is
macro-memetic argument.

Artists "stealing each other's ideas" is when memes from one artist implant
in another's brain and direct their artistic output. The reason it's
"stealing", and the reason it makes the person the idea's stolen from feel
annoyed, is that the artists concerned rely on the ideas to make a crust...
ie that meme can only provide a certain amount of benefit, and now another
person's eating into that benefit...

We ARE a movement- in that we're a group of people that kind of think alike,
sort of.

And we're at war (internally) because we only kind of, sort of, think alike.

Dave Pape
If you mapped memespace onto a 2D plane, then made a 3-D graph with
Activation Level as the vertical axis, and animated shots of the graph over
time, it'd look like the progress of some crazy Hokusai ocean.

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