Re: electric meme bombs

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Tue 22 Oct 2002 - 06:49:07 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: Meme-physics"

    >I'm pretty much in agreement with you, but I propose that we call a meme the
    >information contained in a transaction, the pattern if you will of the
    >information being transferred. Just as what we call a gene is the encoded
    >information contained in a segment of DNA, the pattern of information
    >contained in an attempt to communicate an idea (a transaction) through words
    >(narrative), actions, or artifacts is something we can point to and call a
    >meme, although it has no physical manifestation other than the transaction
    >itself. But it is not the transaction we should refer to as the meme, it is
    >the pattern of information encoded in the transaction.

    Bruce: I thought that the major distinction was that a "meme" is self-serving and uses humans as hosts. The "information contained" argument versus the "resulting behaviour" argument is not the issue so much as the description of what is happening in the process of infection and replication. I suppose that I feel your "information contained in a transaction" is too general and applicable to deliberate (ie non-mememetic) processes as well as mememetic processes - the object is, I think, to make a distinction. The cultural artifacts that result are the only evidence of the "meme" as either process or object, and could be in many forms ranging from beliefs to lierature. However, I admit to being a reductionist, as for me it makes understanding this very slippery concept a bit easier.

    Memes use diddly-squat as this would imply that they have a will. Only their hosts have that privillege. And will is not what it used to be as it is not even free anymore. Anyway, the meme's eye view is just a imaginative metaphor meaning to depict the enthralling, intoxicating and mind-spelling manipulative effect memes can have on their hosts. Some invest the mind as mind-control viruses indeed, especially religious memes are notoriously tenacious.

    What is so memetically interesting in the process of infection and replication? The process itself may also be replicable, but so what? If you eat an apple, it's not important how you eat the darn thing but rather that you simply eat it (and the kind of apples that suit your taste of course). Well, okay things may be the other way around in Hollywood of course...

    ps. Stop suhhh... suhhh-stuttering Bruce (viola: mememetic => memetic) Just playing again, I had a little chocolate before and boy that stuff got me on a roll I guess;-)


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