Re: I know one when I see one

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Thu 24 Oct 2002 - 04:26:02 GMT

  • Next message: Philip Jonkers: "Re: I know one when I see one"

    > > The idea that we know a meme when we see one has been put forward with a
    > > catchy phrase serving as a model. Let me examine that idea with an
    > > of my own. Would you say the term "couch potato" is an example of a
    > > that propagated itself?
    >Memes can't propagate themselves only meme-hosts are capable of propagating
    >memes. However, some memes may induce their hosts
    >to encourage replication better than others do. In fact, the variation
    >component in evolution (memes coming in all 'sorts and shapes') kinda
    >demands this to happen.
    > > But "couch potato," in my opinion, is not a meme but an artifact. It
    > > an idea, along with a bunch of associated ideas, for transmission.
    > > who hear that transmission will either pass it along, let it die, or
    > > it away for future use some day.
    >"Couch potato" is an element of speech that can be replicated and
    >carries meaning and information, a perfect example of a meme if you
    >ask me. The same goes for the separate concepts of "couch" and "potatoe"
    >although their meanings are different and the sum of their meanings does
    >not equal their sum (except in a funny Monty Python sense). I would even go
    >further and call the separate characters
    >memes for the same reasons...

    So what you're saying is that it's the carrier of the information that's the meme rather than the information being carried. What about the fact that the same carrier can carry radically different types of information? Does the meme remain the same no matter what it carries?


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