Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Theoretical Treatment of Memetic Traits Using Gene-Meme, Meme-Meme and Population Equilibrium

Version 1 : Received: 27 December 2020 / Approved: 28 December 2020 / Online: 28 December 2020 (11:30:49 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 7 January 2021 / Approved: 8 January 2021 / Online: 8 January 2021 (13:37:59 CET)
Version 3 : Received: 24 January 2021 / Approved: 26 January 2021 / Online: 26 January 2021 (10:24:54 CET)
Version 4 : Received: 10 February 2021 / Approved: 10 February 2021 / Online: 10 February 2021 (16:31:42 CET)

How to cite: Shuler, R. A Theoretical Treatment of Memetic Traits Using Gene-Meme, Meme-Meme and Population Equilibrium. Preprints 2020, 2020120689 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0689.v2). Shuler, R. A Theoretical Treatment of Memetic Traits Using Gene-Meme, Meme-Meme and Population Equilibrium. Preprints 2020, 2020120689 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202012.0689.v2).

Abstract

Background: Conceived as a unit of lasting cultural (mostly vertical) trait transmission, memes now include transient horizontally transmitted fads. Memes may sometimes follow the logic of population genetics, e.g. learned birdsong, but not always over the diverse range found in human hosts. Much current work focuses on selection of memes rather than hosts. Methods: We analyze equilibrium between gene-meme and meme-meme competing propagators and consider whether a meme is linked to reproduction (e.g. vertical culture transmission), or not. We employ a genetic component and combined meme induced fitness components for hosts, while memes have replication factors to distinguish from what’s good for the host (fitness). To anticipate future meme effects on population stability we use a Monte Carlo simulation roughly calibrated to the Industrial Revolution. Results: A basic effective calculus of memetic trait competition and interaction with genes is derived and analyzed. The transient nature of short term memes may be a defense against accumulation of deleterious memes. Horizontally transmitted (panmictic) memes with high spreading rate will often not equalize with a genetic trait, spreading outside of natural selection of the hosts, presenting a cumulative existential threat. Vertical transmission reduces replication rate and allows group selection against deleterious memes. Competing mutually exclusive memes contribute to inequality and altruism, but compete through adverse fitness since exclusivity assumes low conversion. Conclusions: The advantage of a portfolio of groups or species may not accrue to a single group. This analytical understanding elevates meme-risk to the level of a candidate solution to the so-called Fermi Paradox, as interstellar travel might require a planet wide group.

Subject Areas

Meme; memetic; culture; propagation; equilibrium; inheritance; extinction; resistance; evolution; natural selection; Fermi Paradox

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 8 January 2021
Commenter: Robert Shuler
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: numerous references and analysis of competing memes addes
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