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Susan Blackmore on memes and "temes"

Susan Blackmore studies memes: ideas that replicate themselves from brain to brain like a virus. She makes a bold new argument: Humanity has spawned a new kind of meme, the teme, which spreads itself via technology -- and invents ways to keep itself alive
  • Darwin's ideas explain all design, not just biological
  • if, if, if, then - the evolutionary algorithm
  • design must happen if there are algorithms, you don't need an original creator
  • Darwin didn't know about genes
  • Dawkins' the selfish gene gets copied and doesn't care about the consequences
  • language is another replicator - another example - it has no conscious design, it just wanders
  • meme - that which is copied from person to person
  • the reason why they are copied is irrelevant, good, bad, intriguing, fun
  • the pointy fold on a looroll
  • memes use us as mememachines, copying machines
  • genes are a kind of meme
  • copy the useful things and the not-useful 
  • mimetic drive - making a bigger brain that can copy more memes
  • language is a parasite we have adapted to
  • other species on this planet are not as good gene machines as we are
  • technological memes are temes - the process is changing
  • variation selection and copying done outside humans - now in machines - we are becoming teme machines - borgs, we aren't choosing it, the machines are making us choose it
  • Frank Drake's equation that measures communicative civilisations - with intelligence, Blakemore says we shouldnt' be measuring intelligence, but replicators
  • look for planets that go with the 3rd level of replication (!Why)
  • why haven't we heard from them - it's dangerous
  • the brain is an expensive organ to run, it can kill us off
  • memes will kill us at the point of the third replciation point - first genes, memes, now temes
  • humans are the old machiens
  • how do we pull thorugh? we become teme slaves, we make babies so the temes can piggyback on us, we are convenient
  • when the climate goes bananas the temes can carry on without us
Source: TED (ideas worth spreading)


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