Re: Words and Memes

From: Dace (
Date: Sun Feb 17 2002 - 22:02:06 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Words and Memes
    Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2002 14:02:06 -0800
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    From: Philip Jonkers

    > Ted:
    > > And what would you be like without you? There's got to be a subject of
    > > awareness that perceives these varying degrees of reality and illusion.
    > > Otherwise our thoughts and memes couldn't exist.
    > Strip away the memes consituting our being (i.e. self-plex, ego)
    > and all that remains is a human that survives on instinctual drives.

    The set of self-images at the core of our minds cannot constitute our being,
    since someone has to imagine the self-plex. There's no image without an
    imaginer. As we know from studies of feral children, it's only in the act
    of this imagining that the human self comes into being.

    > > The conflict arises because, inevitably, some of our memified notions
    > > be pathological. Ideas can't distinguish between right and wrong. Any
    > > idea, no matter how ridiculous, can become self-replicating. Though
    > > powerful, "L. Ron is God" doesn't contribute to the good of the social
    > > It's a freelance meme, much like a carcinogenic cell. When an
    > > social body begins to form around a carcinogenic meme, the result is
    > > not culture.
    > You have a point here, but two things. Isn't the phenomenon of the cult
    > of culture. I'm aware of the superfluidity and redundancy of cults, but I
    > consider it a subset of culture. The distinction between cult and culture
    to me
    > is not of a seperable kind but rather of embedding kind (cult in culture).


    > If you consider memes to be cultural elements that involve only
    > replication, how would you explain the spreading of cult-memes? Cult-
    > preaching (spreading the `cult-gospel') seems very intentional to me;
    > Jehova's witnesses knocking on doors know very well what and why they are
    > doing. If not, they wouldn't be able to get near their objective of
    > Their intentional basis is pathological of course.

    What begins as intention ossifies into habit. If it's interpersonal, it's
    memetic. If it's pathological, it's cult. As Lawrence says, a Venn diagram
    would be helpful here.


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