Miscellaneous Meme

From the anthology Biopoetics it reads, “The eye of the octopus is amazingly similar to the eye of a human yet rose independently in evolution.”

Richard Dawkins invented the word “meme” and in his book The Selfish Gene he offers examples; tunes, catch-phrases, ways of making pots or of building arches, but not octopuses. Something of comfort about that natural exclusion.

Daniel Rancour-Laferriere writing in Biopoetics indicates that “The range of human behaviors which may be termed imitative is enormous.”

At the beginning of the chapter, Daniel quotes one of my favorite lines from Jonathan Swift’s A Tale of a Tub, “Books, the children of the brain.” As with children, literature is evolutionary. The most entertaining become meme.


3 thoughts on “Miscellaneous Meme

  1. jhvn May 29, 2014 / 9:20 am

    What similarity would stimulate both humans and octopuses (octopi?) to indepently evolve a simular eye? Humans have only half as many limbs and must breath air even when swimming. I have never gotten my head around the word, “meme”. Are you implying that humans and octopuses are (or have) a single meme? More explanation please.

    • fictionfitz May 29, 2014 / 5:00 pm

      No, the octopus is not a meme to the human eye. As to what would make it so, I hope its reading. I would like to join a book group with an octopus as a member. Almost as good as crocs in a beaver pond.

      • jhvn May 30, 2014 / 9:46 am

        To understand the octopus in your reading group, you would have to learn to live under water, just as the octopus would have to learn to live in the air. Remember: context is everything.

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