Simple Memes and Complex Cultural Dynamics

  • David BattenEmail author
  • Roger Bradbury
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


Regions and their policies are built on many things, such as ideas, actions, habits, skills, inventions, songs and stories, to name a few. This paper views all of these as selfish Darwinian entities – memes – that, like genes, interact and replicate in complex ways with humans to shape our culture. Perniciously, simple memes can exploit our limited capacity to deal collectively with complex problems. Whether good or bad, a single, omnipotent meme can dominate a local region of meme-space.

Most arguments in this paper originated at a workshop on “Memes as Complex Systems” held in Canberra from 13–17 August, 2004 and funded by CSIRO’s Centre for Complex Systems Science (see Batten et al. 2007).


Emergent Property Complex Adaptive System Organise Crime Policy Entrepreneur Archival Information 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Temaplan Group and CSIROCSIRO Marine and Atmospheric ResearchMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Tjurunga and the Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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