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Spread of Ideas and Belief Change

I'm interested in why people have particular beliefs and how ideas spread. Hence I have written pages on EmailVirusesAndChainLetters, CultsBrainwashingAndPsychologicalManipulation and ColdReading. For me, the basics of memetics seem to strongly match what we observe.


Here's some interesting articles:

Nice article on Richard Dawkins and "the meaning of life" - http://www.world-of-dawkins.com/Media/meaning_of_life.htm

"Chain Letters, Corpse Flowers and the Evolution of Religion" - http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/Papers/Cullen.html - An interesting article, but it doesn't cover the "mutation" of vertically transmitted ideas (e.g. traditional religions) into horizonally transmitted ones (e.g. evangelical). This is particularly relevent given the recent changes in transmission possibilities (newspapers, radio, tv etc...), which allow memes to be copied in far greater numbers, changing at least part of their behaviour from "type K" to "type r" (see http://fig.cox.miami.edu/Faculty/Tom/bil160sp98/16_rKselection.html for explaination of these types).

A memetic glossary courtesy of "the Church of the Virus" - http://www.churchofvirus.org/lexicon.html



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