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> Rubik's Cube

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Some Memes

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I don't want to get too sidetracked, but there are several things here that are interesting from a memetic perspective.

First, one can trace the flow of ideas from book to book. [SS] seems to have been developed independently, but the other three are all connectedó[CG] refers to [MT] a lot, [MT] credits some things to the authors of [WW], and [WW] lists [MT] in its references. I guess there was some cross-pollination before [WW] was finished! And, all three of them mention the original, which I've foolishly never bothered to track down.

[MC] Notes on Rubik's 'Magic Cube'

Second, although memes in general can be hard to pin down, some cube-related memes are very well defined indeed. A pattern, for example, is just a particular state of the cube, or technically perhaps a set or equivalence class of states. And, as we'll see in the next subessay, a sequence of turns can be written down as a sequence of lettersólike DNA, although that analogy is a dead end as far as I know. Of course there are also plenty of cube-related memes that aren't as sharply defined, like the idea of conjugation that we'll see later on.

Anyway, the point is, cubology ought to be a good domain in which to apply the method of domains that I described in What Would Memetics Look Like?. In fact, that's pretty much what I'll be doing in the rest of the subessays, making a big list of memes!

Third, unlike the lists of memes I made for Oni and Tempest, which in spite of all the sections and subsections and bullet points are still essentially grab bags, the list here has a lot of structure. It's like one of those math or computer science textbooks where the chapters are laid out in a dependency graph, except here the chapters are subessays.

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@ November (2012)