Re: memetics-digest V1 #952

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Sat Feb 16 2002 - 11:16:05 GMT

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    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #952
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    on 2/15/02 7:19 PM, memetics-digest at wrote:

    > Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 10:44:24 -0800
    > From: "Dace" <>
    > Subject: Re: Words and Memes
    > From: Steve Drew
    >>>>> Which is why it doesn't make much sense to regard memes as
    >>>>> tools. Ideas are tools. Ways of doing things can be thought of as
    >>>>> tools. Memes spring up when the tools start running on auto-pilot.
    >>>> I find it hard to separate ideas from memes.
    >>> Then what's the point of invoking memes? Why not just refer to them
    >>> as ideas?
    >> With respect to the ideas / memes thing. I wouyld suggest that all ideas
    >> are memes (or have some memetic quality) but that not all memes are
    >> ideas.
    > Ideas become memetic only when they self-replicate. When they replicate
    > through human intention, they're just ideas. Yes, memes can involve
    > behavior as well as ideas. But if we equate memes with behavior and ideas,
    > then we might as well just refer to behavior and ideas and forget about
    > "memes." There has to be something that distinguishes some behaviors and
    > ideas from others. When they're not only habitual but *culturally*
    > habitual, then they constitute memes.
    > Ted

    I was hedging slightly when i used the term memetic quality to cover ideas
    that have not been propagated yet along the lines of the potential memes.
    My point was that you cannot term all behaviours as memetic as not all
    behaviours are learnt from others. Eg i did not need lesson in not putting
    my hand into a flame as the pain reflex teaches me not to do it.

    We cant limit memes just to ideas or behaviours as the ter, to my mind,
    encompasses aspects of both.



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