Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Campbell on Memetics?

It is amazing how many scholars have had some internal model regarding the spread of ideas, and many of them seem rather close to (though few are isomorphic with) Blackmore's memes.

I was just reading in Joseph Campbell's Creative Mythology where he says, "A mythological canon is an organization of symbols, ineffable in import, by which the energies of aspiration are evoked and gathered toward a focus. The message leaps from heart to heart by way of the brain, and where the brain is unpersuaded the message cannot pass. The life then is untouched."

That could be Blackmore's memetics, except I think she would tend to say that the last sentence deviates. For, in her theory, an integration of the idea occurs, mixing either more or less with those already resident. Campbell suggests that some ideas may be completely and utterly dismissed if they contradict a functioning mythological system. I think that is worth paying some serious attention to.

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