I was down this way on the job the other day and I just happened to drive by this house. I was on my way to this place called Glass Plus, which sells stuff like shower doors in Union county NJ. I had to pick up about three or four things including a shower cabinet and the big piece of tempered glass that you use for a shower door. Jack and I have been doing a really big renovation job not that far from there and we had to find this really special shower door for the lady of the house. She was really particular about this thing she wanted and it took him and I a couple of weeks to figure out what she meant and find one for her. Continue reading
Well, you can’t bring your car with you on a flight. That is, unless you are super rich and own a transport plane. Even then, it might be cheaper to just buy a new car wherever you went and fly in a smaller more fuel efficient plane. I will leave it to the very wealthy among us to deal with such musings. As for me, I just rent a car wherever I land. At the Majorca Airport, I got on my mobile and went to www.carhiremajorcaairport.co to rent a car when I landed.
At first I thought I was going to be picked up by a representative of the company I was contracting with at the time. When I landed I got a text that they misread my flight time. They were on their way, but would not be there for more than an hour. I rented a car and went straight to the hotel. I got settled in and then made some phone calls. I was not meeting with anyone from the company now until the next day. Continue reading
When a cry for help is heard, Linear Title is going to be there to lift you up. There is no other company like them in Rhode Island, a company who can give you a high quality level of professionalism that seems to be lacking by so many loan securing firms. I just heard that linear title catapulted to inc 5000 recently; I cannot say that I am surprised. With their crack, sharp staff rocking out their real estate knowledge they are the first you should ever go to if you have any issues or concerns with having a loan secured by the bank. There are a lot of us playing the housing market; buying houses, flipping them for quick profit before we’re off to the next one. Sometimes a bank isn’t going to be eager to do business with some of us and that is where Linear comes into play.
We’re not lawyers so it takes someone with experience to negotiate, someone with the ability to unravel the legal jargon and someone who is willing to help out the citizens of this fine state make their money. Continue reading
Proponents theorize that memes may evolve by natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution. Memes do this through the processes of variation, mutation, competition and inheritance, each of which influence a meme’s reproductive success. Memes spread through the behaviors that they generate in their hosts. Memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread and (for better or for worse) mutate. Memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success, and some may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.
A field of study called memetics arose in the 1990s to explore the concepts and transmission of memes in terms of an evolutionary model. Criticism from a variety of fronts has challenged the notion that academic study can examine memes empirically. However, developments in neuroimaging may make empirical study possible. Some commentators question the idea that one can meaningfully categorize culture in terms of discrete units. Others, including Dawkins himself, have argued that this usage of the term is the result of a misunderstanding of the original proposal !
We were taking the kids to a big amusement park for the day. It was me, my wife, our four children and both sets of grandparents. There was plenty of cheese fries and cotton candy on the menu for that day. As for me, I like funnel cakes with strawberries, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. However, I know the day would be tiring so I rented a toronto wedding limo to take us.
The limo was big enough to hold a full wedding party, so there was plenty of room for the ten of us and our supplies. The kids were super excited to be showing up at the amusement park in the limo.
I love my parents. They have always supported me through thick and thin. They taught me values and the importance of hard work. They have been married for almost forty years. They were married at the courthouse. My parents were so poor, they did not have the luxury of having an expensive wedding and honeymoon. Their wedding anniversary is just around the corner and I want everything to be special. I am hiring a toronto limo service to escort my parents for the big day. My brothers and I are planning very hard to make sure that my parents have the best anniversary ever.
We will have a limo drive my parents downtown to an upscale French bistro. My mother loves dishes from France and I know that it will put a smile on her face. They will enjoy a delicious meal. The waiter will bring out a special cake for their wedding anniversary.
I have had a construction company since I first started working the business in my early twenties. Some of the main work we do up here in Canada is seasonal. We do work year round, but big building projects are slated for spring and summer. Just before the holiday season hits, we have head into a work slow down. That is when we have our get-together for workers and their spouses. We all go out and have a nice dinner and entertainment. This year part of the entertainment was actually from www.platinumpartybustoronto.com. The transportation to the office party event was part of the fun.
We got a big bus that was really nice. I’m not talking about a passenger style bus where you all sit on bench seats in rows and look forward. No, this bus was decked out in all kinds of finery that made it a party on wheels. The inside was open with a lot of room to move around. You could sit down and not miss anything going on. The seating was down the sides and faced toward the middle.
We are very grateful for the delicate way a toronto limo service helped us with our father’s funeral. Mom and dad had eight children. The last of the big families in our little town. The local funeral home has been serving our family for generations. We could not stop using them now. They did not have cars big enough for our family to be able to ride together. My mother actually suggested a limousine for the family to ride in. We thought it a bit odd at first, but it worked out very well.
We could have all just went our separate cars. We did not want to do that. The limo company had a color of car that went with the gray vehicles owned by the funeral company. It blended in very well in the procession. I really do think dad would have been really happy that we all were able to ride with mom to the burial site.
I was pretty much exhausted when I got back to Red Deer this morning, but I still had to head out to work about the moment that I got back. Right now I am sitting at my office looking at the pictures I took out in the parking lot. It was a really wild scene there after the reception got out of hand.Of course if you never knew it, Mike’s cousins all like to drink to excess and they ended brawling with some of the in laws. I think that toronto wedding limousine company is going to end up taking the lot of them to court over that crap. It was pretty hilarious at first, much the way that it usually is when guys try to fight while they are too stoned to walk. However at some point one of them ended up trying to bodyslam this other idiot. Instead the both of them fell backwards onto the trunk of that limo.
Of course at this point that limo driver went nuts and he started wailing on Mike’s cousin, who was probably the one that most deserved to have his face pounded into hamburger meat. Of course I had to pull the guy off him and then the police showed up. I am guessing that they might have wanted me to bear witness against someone, but that is not really a wise move. Mike’s cousins are all idiots, but there are a lot of them and they really know how to hold a grudge. It is not like I would be afraid to have more idiots for enemies, but obviously I would rather do it when I have a more valid reason than just a bit of body damage to the back end of a stretched out Lincoln town car.
I am not really trusted with the important things. Instead my part in planning the wedding is rather limited. I am supposed to make sure we have enough beer for the wedding reception and I am in charge of finding a good toronto wedding limo service. That is probably enough for me to do, although I was really in favor of not serving alcohol at the wedding to be totally honest. I can totally imagine it turning into a disaster with all of my friends Linda’s cousins getting drunk and starting a huge riot.
My first real estate investment experience was a nightmare. I had no prior experience in real estate and only knew a little bit. I didn’t get a very good return on my investment, but I didn’t let that stop me. I was determined to become better at real estate investment, and I looked for help. I searched online for various resources related to real estate investment and found a site with a rei quick cash system review.
Many people had used the quick cash system and it helped them with their real estate efforts, so I figured it would work for me as well. I was already at the bottom of the barrel in terms of investment, so I had no where to go but up.
My boyfriend and I went on a day trip at a nearby resort town where we could walk around and see different shops on the main street. I was really looking forward to spending the day with him. While we were walking in and out of shops, we saw a sign in an older building that said free psychic reading and while I did not believe that my boyfriend believed in it, I did want to take a chance to see if she said anything about our future. I could have either paid for one of us for forty dollars or I could have paid double for the two of us. I was not about to waste my money on the fact that there was going to be a chance that he would mock me and the lady so I said that I would do my own.
I am not really a real estate agent per se, but I have been involved in aspects of the business for over a decade. A friend of mine got me started. He and his father in law started out buying homes which needed work a long time ago, and since I was a plumber they always had side jobs for me. Of course I love side jobs and I got involved in buying houses with them. Now I am thinking about going full time into it, as I make a pretty decent sum from renting homes. I am at http://www.quantumpostcards.com/ right now thinking about how Jud and I can go into a different line. We are already doing some real estate management. It was only logical for us. We are already doing all of that sort of work.
When people need money they will go to great lengths to get it. If they need it fast they may resort to payday loans or other means that will cost them more money in the long run. Some will try unique ways to make some funds like trying to exchange ukash to perfect money but making money with coins will take a little tie to learn. Ideally you should save money. Many feel like this is impossible but it is really only a matter of discipline.
When you have a bill you pay it every month because you know there will be consequences. If you treat your savings like a bill and put a set amount into it each month then you can have some waiting for you when an emergency does arise.
When I was looking at going to college, I was thinking that my parents were going to help me with my tuition. I have a lot of friends whose parents were remortgaging their homes in order to pay the tuition for their kid’s education. When I asked my parents if they were going to do something like this, they told me they weren’t. I had to get a job quick so I ended up getting a job as a edinburgh escorts to help me pay my tuition. Before I knew it, I was making enough money on dates to be able to pay for a year at a time. I had more money than I knew what to do with.
I am so happy that I found out about hottoner selling hp ink cartridges. I had used them before to get ink for my other printer, but had not looked into them when I was shopping for ink for my new printer. I had been buying it at the department store when I went to pick up other things that I needed just because it was there and I could just grab it and go.
I decided that I would think ahead and instead of waiting for the ink to run out before I bought more, that I would go ahead and buy a few cartridges and keep them in the drawer of my desk until I needed them.
Once I decided to do things this way, I figured that I would check the site to see if they had the right hp cartridge that my printer took.
I am trying to get child support from my ex-husband, and I am not sure how difficult of a process this will be. I have full custody of our kids, but it is not like he would even want the kids if he had a chance of winning the custody battle. The fact that he even tried to get custody was just out of spite and contempt of me. Anyway, I need to get child support to help make ends meet, and I am looking for a wayne country child support lawyer that will help me through this process.
I have two kids with my ex-husband, and I am not sure how much money that will entitle me to on a monthly basis. I am hoping that by getting a lawyer, everything will be figured out quickly and things will be settled quickly as well. That way, I will be more likely to start receiving child support payments.
I have started getting hottoner for my computer printer at my house. I had been spending way too much money on the ink that my family needs for all of the printing that is done each day. I did not know about this ink and happened to stumble across a link that took me to the site where I could buy it.
I did not realize that I had been spending so much money that I did not have to spend on ink each day. I had been looking for a way to save some money after I realized that I was spending as much as I was on ink. It was an expense that I could not really afford.
I ordered my first shipment of ink and really did not expect to be impressed with the product.
Moving can be an exciting experience, especially if you are moving across country. Not only are you starting over in a new place, you will have the opportunity to meet new people and experience a new culture. Meeting people has never been easier as well, as you can join chat groups and online forums with people in your new city, create your own meme, and learn all about your new location. As far as transporting your items, national moving companies reviews can help you safely transport your belongings without the risk of damage or personal injury.
The cost of a cross country move will depend on the weight and bulk of your items, and your moving company representative will advise you of all costs associated with your particular move. If you require additional assistance with packing, be sure to let the moving company know this when you contact them for an estimate. If you have a variety of breakable items, your movers will gladly assist with packing them in special shipping materials to ensure that they remain intact for your move. Heavy household items such as appliances and furniture will also be handled with special care. When your items arrive at your next destination, the movers will assist by unloading your items and transporting them into your new home.
While many people are taking it upon themselves to move these days, the one thing to remember is with self-moves, you are not insured for potential damage to your items, and certain items such as heavy furniture can be difficult to pack into the moving truck if you do not have the correct equipment. Hiring a moving company is definitely a smart alternative, as professional movers have the training and expertise to pack, load, and transport your items quickly and efficiently, allowing you the peace of mind that your items will arrive to their destination without any potential issues.
I used to get email ads all the time about different casino websites. I had signed up for a few newsletters so I could understand more about them, but I still did not try them out. I was mainly worried about knowing which sites were reputable. While I do have some disposable income, I am not wealthy by any means. I am very careful with who I give financial information to because of this. When I got an email about no deposit casino bonus codes, I finally got up the courage to look further into online casinos.
I was able to read a blog about the different casinos as well as which ones offered the no deposit casino bonus codes. The more I read about them, the more confident I felt about joining one of the sites.
I live in Perth, and I am trying to get a website built at this point in time. However, I am kind of worried that I will not be able to get it done for a price that I can afford, so I am trying to figure out exactly how much it might cost, and at the same time, I need to figure out how much I can afford to spend on the website. Right now I am going to look on the internet, conduct some relevant web searches, to see if I can find web design perth companies that offer their services for very competitive prices; at the same time, I would like to find a web design company that really does some outstanding work.
Within the great, wide word of the Internet there are some blogs that you should be following if you are interested in real estate. One of the best that I’ve found so far has to be active rain by rusty solomon. This guy really knows his stuff when it comes to the market, real estate and how the two effect one another. I’ve been following the housing market ever since it crashed – it is such an interesting facet of an economy. I had never noticed that you are able to gauge the health of an economy by how well it sells houses and how much confidence the consumers have by the number of houses being bought.
When you run a business, it is important that you find talented individuals who have vision. Vision is way to ensure innovation and creativity are fostered by your company – that is what you want to be known for. You don’t want to deliver results that are dull or just up to standard, you want to go beyond the standard and give your clients something entirely new. When I learned that cooking at sea was rusty solomon forte, I knew right then and there that I had found the best consultant for the job. I had been in the market for some time trying to find someone who would help deliver the results that I needed. We were looking for a new office building and I wanted something that was going to inspire ideas within my workers, a place that could be a Creative Sanctum for my team and I.
When I started working for myself, I knew that I was going to need help. While I dislike having to depend on anyone for help, it is not a good idea to discount prior experience that might exist already. When I was younger, I made that mistake again and again so this time I was going to make sure that I didn’t fail because of my own arrogance. When I read that rusty solomon worked at a long list of companies, I decided that he was the man I was going to call for help. He has worked as a consultant in the past while starting several businesses on his own; successful ones, too! This man truly is a visionary, one of those rare individuals who are gifted with the sight of success, who know how to shake up the business world with his ideas. It truly is an amazing gift, one that I wish I was in possession of myself.
I have always thought that it was a good idea to use the Internet to my advantage for my business. This is the way that information is being conveyed to people nowadays. People turn to the Internet for almost everything and a business owner has to take advantage of that. Since I am interested in real estate, I have done my research about people who have been successful in this field. For example, I have read that rusty solomon worked as the national managing director for a consulting company. This is something that is well known by, not only people who are interested in this field, but by many others.
Allen Rusty Solomon is a man who knows how to get the job done. From his time at Linear Title and even to his time with Manderin group, he is a man who knows the value of speed, quality and efficiency. I have looked to him for much of my own consulting needs; as someone who is also from Louisiana, I know that I can trust him in all the things that I need! I just found out that rusty solomon on chamber which is a great website that helps you find what businesses and which owners can be found in your local chamber of commerces! This is a very useful, versatile utility that offers you a lot of information if you are curious enough to inquire about an individual or business.
Dealing with a divorce or any family legal issues is never easy, especially when there are children or property involved in the process. If you are living in Austin and you are interested in seeking legal help for a divorce battle you are facing, searching for an austin divorce and family law attorney is highly recommended. When you choose to hire an attorney, there are many benefits that come along with doing so that can help you to get back on your feet to begin living a life free of the burden and stress the legal issue itself may cause.
One of the major benefits of hiring an Austin divorce and family law attorney is that you do not have to be a legal expert yourself when it comes to filing and handling all of the paperwork associated with your divorce and any type of documentation you may need to provide for the course.
I have been riding a bicycle ever since I was a little girl. As I got older, it was my preferred method of exercise. I just loved to ride on the trails around my town, because it gave me such a peaceful feeling. I was able to retire early from work because of some smart investments, and I decided to invest in something else as well. I looked at some touring bicycles, because I knew that I wanted to start riding even more now that I had more time to myself.
I had always dreamed that when I had this kind of freedom, I would get on my bike and just ride until I couldn’t go any further that day.
If you are searching for a job in the health care field that is enjoyable, rewarding and pays great, dental assisting could be just what you are looking for! A dental assistant works alongside a dentist inside of the office. This person hands the dentist instruments, assists with exams and X-rays and so much more.
Dental assistant course s are available to help you complete the qualifications needed to work as a dental assistant. These programs provide quick training inside the classroom and working in an actual dental office. The length of time that it will take to complete the course varies upon a number of different factors. One of those factors is the type of dental assisting degree you want to earn. There are certificates, Associate’s degrees and Bachelor’s degrees available in dental assisting. Each offers the chance to earn the degree that you are after.
Most classes vary in length from about 9 months to 4 years. It is a good idea to check out the different degrees available in dental assisting before deciding which is best for your needs.
Once you have earned your diploma you will need to take a state exam in order to receive a license to work as a dental assistant. This exam ensures that you have learned all of the skills necessary to provide the best patient care.
Working as a dental assisting can provide a great salary, with earning averaging between $21,345 and $45,500 per year. Again, there are a number of things that affect your earnings as well, including the city/state that you reside, the degree you have attained and more. The more experience that you have the more money you can earn in your career.
You will feel rewarded day in and day out working as a dental assistant. You are providing a valuable service to patients and their oral health needs, and nothing could make you feel any prouder.
I am just get ready to do the math on this, because I have twin daughters. Both of them are extremely lovely girls and both of them have been invited to the prom, even though it will not be for another month and a half. They have been showing me pictures of prom dresses for 2013 and I can not say that I am overly impressed by the prices that I was shown. They seemed to like all of the most expensive types that you could possibly buy. Then they started talking about everything else. I laughed at them for talking about limousines, even though they thought it was very reasonable for me to split the cost with the parents of their dates.
It was more difficult for me to find the web designers to do my website than I thought it was going to be. I had an exact picture of what I wanted my site to look like and many of the designers that I talked with did not seem to grasp the concept of what I was trying to do.
I was actually trying to put together a site for my family and friends to use to stay in touch and to use to learn about the heritage of my family. I wanted to include information about all of the people in my family history and the pictures that I have been able to find over the years.
When I was younger, I became interested in where our family came from because I was the only one in my school classes that looked, dressed and talked like I did. It was not easy for me to get through school when I was young because I did not have a good understanding of why I was like I am and how I should be proud of where I had come from instead of having to question it.
I wanted my site to show some sort of resemblance of our heritage and the designers were just not getting it. I finally did find a designer that was able to wrap his head around what I was trying to get done. He did such a great job incorporating all of the graphics into the site as well as the story lines of the family history. It is really great to be able to log onto my site and look back and remember things from my youth and learn more about what my family has been through over the years. I have gotten many thanks from the family for doing this and it makes me feel great.
One technique of meme mapping represents the evolution and transmission of a meme across time and space. Such a meme map uses a figure-8 diagram (an analemma) to map the gestation (in the lower loop), birth (at the choke point), and development (in the upper loop) of the selected meme. Such meme maps are non-scalar, with time mapped onto the y-axis and space onto the x-axis transect. One can read the temporal progress of the mapped meme from south to north on such a meme map. Paull has published a worked example using the “organics meme” (as in organic agriculture).
Robertson (2010) used a second technique of meme mapping to create two-dimensional representations of the selves of eleven participants drawn from both individualist and collectivist cultures. Participant narratives were transcribed, segmented and coded using a method similar to grounded theory. Coded segments exhibiting referent, connotative, affective and behavioral dimensions were declared to be memes. Memes that shared connotative, affective or behavioral qualities were linked. All of the maps in Robertson’s sample evidenced volition, constancy, uniqueness, production, intimacy, and social interest. This method of mapping the self was successfully used in therapy to treat a youth who had attempted suicide on five occasions (Robertson 2011). The youth and psychotherapist co-constructed a plan to change the youth’s presenting self, and her progress in making those changes was tracked in subsequent self-maps.
In A Theory of Architecture, Nikos Salingaros speaks of memes as “freely propagating clusters of information” which can be beneficial or harmful. He contrasts memes to patterns” and true knowledge, characterizing memes as “greatly simplified versions of patterns” and as “unreasoned matching to some visual or mnemonic prototype”. Taking reference to Dawkins, Salingaros emphasizes that they can be transmitted due to their own communicative properties, that “the simpler they are, the faster they can proliferate”, and that the most successful memes “come with a great psychological appeal”.
Architectural memes, so Salingaros, can have destructive power. “Images portrayed in architectural magazines representing buildings that could not possibly accommodate everyday uses become fixed in our memory, so we reproduce them unconsciously.” He lists various architectural memes that circulated since the 1920s and which, in his view, have led to contemporary architecture becoming quite decoupled from human needs. They lack connection and meaning, thereby preventing “the creation of true connections necessary to our understanding of the world”. He sees them as no different from antipatterns in software design – as solutions that are false but are re-utilized nonetheless.
In Cultural Software: A Theory of Ideology, Jack Balkin argued that memetic processes can explain many of the most familiar features of ideological thought. His theory of “cultural software” maintained that memes form narratives, networks of cultural associations, metaphoric and metonymic models, and a variety of different mental structures. Balkin maintains that the same structures used to generate ideas about free speech or free markets also serve to generate racist beliefs. To Balkin, whether memes become harmful or maladaptive depends on the environmental context in which they exist rather than in any special source or manner to their origination. Balkin describes racist beliefs as “fantasy” memes that become harmful or unjust “ideologies” when diverse peoples come together, as through trade or competition.
Although social scientists such as Max Weber sought to understand and explain religion in terms of a cultural attribute, Richard Dawkins called for a re-analysis of religion in terms of the evolution of self-replicating ideas apart from any resulting biological advantages they might bestow.
As an enthusiastic Darwinian, I have been dissatisfied with explanations that my fellow-enthusiasts have offered for human behaviour. They have tried to look for ‘biological advantages’ in various attributes of human civilization. For instance, tribal religion has been seen as a mechanism for solidifying group identity, valuable for a pack-hunting species whose individuals rely on cooperation to catch large and fast prey. Frequently the evolutionary preconception in terms of which such theories are framed is implicitly group-selectionist, but it is possible to rephrase the theories in terms of orthodox gene selection.
—Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
He argued that the role of key replicator in cultural evolution belongs not to genes, but to memes replicating thought from person to person by means of imitation. These replicators respond to selective pressures that may or may not affect biological reproduction or survival.
In her book The Meme Machine, Susan Blackmore regards religions as particularly tenacious memes. Many of the features common to the most widely practiced religions provide built-in advantages in an evolutionary context, she writes. For example, religions that preach of the value of faith over evidence from everyday experience or reason inoculate societies against many of the most basic tools people commonly use to evaluate their ideas. By linking altruism with religious affiliation, religious memes can proliferate more quickly because people perceive that they can reap societal as well as personal rewards. The longevity of religious memes improves with their documentation in revered religious texts.
Aaron Lynch attributed the robustness of religious memes in human culture to the fact that such memes incorporate multiple modes of meme transmission. Religious memes pass down the generations from parent to child and across a single generation through the meme-exchange of proselytism. Most people will hold the religion taught them by their parents throughout their life. Many religions feature adversarial elements, punishing apostasy, for instance, or demonizing infidels. In Thought Contagion Lynch identifies the memes of transmission in Christianity as especially powerful in scope. Believers view the conversion of non-believers both as a religious duty and as an act of altruism. The promise of heaven to believers and threat of hell to non-believers provide a strong incentive for members to retain their belief. Lynch asserts that belief in the Crucifixion of Jesus in Christianity amplifies each of its other replication advantages through the indebtedness believers have to their Savior for sacrifice on the cross. The image of the crucifixion recurs in religious sacraments, and the proliferation of symbols of the cross in homes and churches potently reinforces the wide array of Christian memes.
Although religious memes have proliferated in human cultures, the modern scientific community has been relatively resistant to religious belief. Robertson (2007) reasoned that if evolution is accelerated in conditions of propagative difficulty, then we would expect to encounter variations of religious memes, established in general populations, addressed to scientific communities. Using a memetic approach, Robertson deconstructed two attempts to privilege religiously held spirituality in scientific discourse. Advantages of a memetic approach as compared to more traditional “modernization” and “supply side” theses in understanding the evolution and propagation of religion were explored.
Opinions differ as to how best to apply the concept of memes within a “proper” disciplinary framework. One view sees memes as providing a useful philosophical perspective with which to examine cultural evolution. Proponents of this view (such as Susan Blackmore and Daniel Dennett) argue that considering cultural developments from a meme’s-eye view—as if memes themselves respond to pressure to maximise their own replication and survival—can lead to useful insights and yield valuable predictions into how culture develops over time. Others such as Bruce Edmonds and Robert Aunger have focused on the need to provide an empirical grounding for memetics to become a useful and respected scientific discipline.
A third approach, described as “radical memetics”, seeks to place memes at the centre of a materialistic theory of mind and of personal identity.
Prominent researchers in evolutionary psychology and anthropology, including Scott Atran, Dan Sperber, Pascal Boyer, John Tooby and others, argue the possibility of incompatibility between modularity of mind and memetics. In their view, minds structure certain communicable aspects of the ideas produced, and these communicable aspects generally trigger or elicit ideas in other minds through inference (to relatively rich structures generated from often low-fidelity input) and not high-fidelity replication or imitation. Atran discusses communication involving religious beliefs as a case in point. In one set of experiments he asked religious people to write down on a piece of paper the meanings of the Ten Commandments. Despite the subjects’ own expectations of consensus, interpretations of the commandments showed wide ranges of variation, with little evidence of consensus. In another experiment, subjects with autism and subjects without autism interpreted ideological and religious sayings (for example, “Let a thousand flowers bloom” or “To everything there is a season”). People with autism showed a significant tendency to closely paraphrase and repeat content from the original statement (for example: “Don’t cut flowers before they bloom”). Controls tended to infer a wider range of cultural meanings with little replicated content (for example: “Go with the flow” or “Everyone should have equal opportunity”). Only the subjects with autism—who lack the degree of inferential capacity normally associated with aspects of theory of mind—came close to functioning as “meme machines”.
In his book The Robot’s Rebellion, Stanovich uses the memes and memeplex concepts to describe a program of cognitive reform that he refers to as a “rebellion”. Specifically, Stanovich argues that the use of memes as a descriptor for cultural units is beneficial because it serves to emphasize transmission and acquisition properties that parallel the study of epidemiology. These properties make salient the sometimes parasitic nature of acquired memes, and as a result individuals should be motivated to reflectively acquire memes using what he calls a “Neurathian bootstrap” process.
An objection to the study of the evolution of memes in genetic terms (although not to the existence of memes) involves a perceived gap in the gene/meme analogy: the cumulative evolution of genes depends on biological selection-pressures neither too great nor too small in relation to mutation-rates. There seems no reason to think that the same balance will exist in the selection pressures on memes.
Luis Benitez-Bribiesca M.D., a critic of memetics, calls the theory a “pseudoscientific dogma” and “a dangerous idea that poses a threat to the serious study of consciousness and cultural evolution”. As a factual criticism, Benitez-Bribiesca points to the lack of a “code script” for memes (analogous to the DNA of genes), and to the excessive instability of the meme mutation mechanism (that of an idea going from one brain to another), which would lead to a low replication accuracy and a high mutation rate, rendering the evolutionary process chaotic.
British political philosopher John Gray has characterized Dawkins’ memetic theory of religion as “nonsense” and “not even a theory… the latest in a succession of ill-judged Darwinian metaphors”, comparable to Intelligent Design in its value as a science.
Another critique comes from semiotic theorists such as Deacon and Kull This view regards the concept of “meme” as a primitivized concept of “sign”. The meme is thus described in memetics as a sign lacking a triadic nature. Semioticians can regard a meme as a “degenerate” sign, which includes only its ability of being copied. Accordingly, in the broadest sense, the objects of copying are memes, whereas the objects of translation and interpretation are signs.
Fracchia and Lewontin regard memetics as reductionist and inadequate. Burman, by contrast, has shown that the misunderstanding that memes are “real” is a result of a popularization based on a confused interpretation of Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene. Instead, for him, the idea of an “infectious idea” can be a useful conceit if used under certain conditions. He explained this in a subsequent discussion regarding his article:
…you can’t take the meme seriously as “a thing that jumps.” You can only ask what insights are derived if we adopt a stance in which we accept jumping as a shortcut to get to the more interesting problem. Memes, in this sense, are a philosophical method; they aren’t a scientific object.
The discipline of memetics, which dates from the mid 1980s, provides an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer based on the concept of the meme. Memeticists have proposed that just as memes function analogously to genes, memetics functions analogously to genetics. Memetics attempts to apply conventional scientific methods (such as those used in population genetics and epidemiology) to explain existing patterns and transmission of cultural ideas.
Principal criticisms of memetics include the claim that memetics ignores established advances in other fields of cultural study, such as sociology, cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, and social psychology. Questions remain whether or not the meme concept counts as a validly disprovable scientific theory. This view regards memetics as a theory in its infancy: a protoscience to proponents, or a pseudoscience to some detractors.
Richard Dawkins noted the three conditions that must exist for evolution to occur:
variation, or the introduction of new change to existing elements;
heredity or replication, or the capacity to create copies of elements;
differential “fitness”, or the opportunity for one element to be more or less suited to the environment than another.
Dawkins emphasizes that the process of evolution naturally occurs whenever these conditions co-exist, and that evolution does not apply only to organic elements such as genes. He regards memes as also having the properties necessary for evolution, and thus sees meme evolution as not simply analogous to genetic evolution, but as a real phenomenon subject to the laws of natural selection. Dawkins noted that as various ideas pass from one generation to the next, they may either enhance or detract from the survival of the people who obtain those ideas, or influence the survival of the ideas themselves. For example, a certain culture may develop unique designs and methods of tool-making that give it a competitive advantage over another culture. Each tool-design thus acts somewhat similarly to a biological gene in that some populations have it and others do not, and the meme’s function directly affects the presence of the design in future generations. In keeping with the thesis that in evolution one can regard organisms simply as suitable “hosts” for reproducing genes, Dawkins argues that one can view people as “hosts” for replicating memes. Consequently, a successful meme may or may not need to provide any benefit to its host.
Unlike genetic evolution, memetic evolution can show both Darwinian and Lamarckian traits. Cultural memes will have the characteristic of Lamarckian inheritance when a host aspires to replicate the given meme through inference rather than by exactly copying it. Take for example the case of the transmission of a simple skill such as hammering a nail, a skill that a learner imitates from watching a demonstration without necessarily imitating every discrete movement modeled by the teacher in the demonstration, stroke for stroke. Susan Blackmore distinguishes the difference between the two modes of inheritance in the evolution of memes, characterizing the Darwinian mode as “copying the instructions” and the Lamarckian as “copying the product.”
Clusters of memes, or memeplexes (also known as meme complexes or as memecomplexes), such as cultural or political doctrines and systems, may also play a part in the acceptance of new memes. Memeplexes comprise groups of memes that replicate together and coadapt. Memes that fit within a successful memeplex may gain acceptance by “piggybacking” on the success of the memeplex. As an example, John D. Gottsch discusses the transmission, mutation and selection of religious memeplexes and the theistic memes contained. Theistic memes discussed include the “prohibition of aberrant sexual practices such as incest, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, castration, and religious prostitution”, which may have increased vertical transmission of the parent religious memeplex. Similar memes are thereby included in the majority of religious memeplexes, and harden over time; they become an “inviolable canon” or set of dogmas, eventually finding their way into secular law. This could also be referred to as the propagation of a taboo.
Richard Dawkins initially defined meme as a noun that “conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation”. John S. Wilkins retained the notion of meme as a kernel of cultural imitation while emphasizing the meme’s evolutionary aspect, defining the meme as “the least unit of sociocultural information relative to a selection process that has favourable or unfavourable selection bias that exceeds its endogenous tendency to change.” The meme as a unit provides a convenient means of discussing “a piece of thought copied from person to person”, regardless of whether that thought contains others inside it, or forms part of a larger meme. A meme could consist of a single word, or a meme could consist of the entire speech in which that word first occurred. This forms an analogy to the idea of a gene as a single unit of self-replicating information found on the self-replicating chromosome.
While the identification of memes as “units” conveys their nature to replicate as discrete, indivisible entities, it does not imply that thoughts somehow become quantized or that “atomic” ideas exist that cannot be dissected into smaller pieces. A meme has no given size. Susan Blackmore writes that melodies from Beethoven’s symphonies are commonly used to illustrate the difficulty involved in delimiting memes as discrete units. She notes that while the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (About this sound listen (help·info)) form a meme widely replicated as an independent unit, one can regard the entire symphony as a single meme as well.
The inability to pin an idea or cultural feature to quantifiable key units is widely acknowledged as a problem for memetics. It has been argued however that the traces of memetic processing can be quantified utilizing neuroimaging techniques which measure changes in the connectivity profiles between brain regions.” Blackmore meets such criticism by stating that memes compare with genes in this respect: that while a gene has no particular size, nor can we ascribe every phenotypic feature directly to a particular gene, it has value because it encapsulates that key unit of inherited expression subject to evolutionary pressures. To illustrate, she notes evolution selects for the gene for features such as eye color; it does not select for the individual nucleotide in a strand of DNA. Memes play a comparable role in understanding the evolution of imitated behaviors.
The 1981 book Genes, Mind, and Culture: The Coevolutionary Process by Charles J. Lumsden and E. O. Wilson proposed the theory that genes and culture co-evolve, and that the fundamental biological units of culture must correspond to neuronal networks that function as nodes of semantic memory. They coined their own term, “culturgen”, which did not catch on. Coauthor Wilson later acknowledged the term meme as the best label for the fundamental unit of cultural inheritance in his 1998 book Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, which elaborates upon the fundamental role of memes in unifying the natural and social sciences.