Re: Why Memes Propagate - Answers to key questions about Meme structure, internal causation and functionality.

From: Douglas P. Wilson (
Date: Sat 26 Oct 2002 - 16:08:38 GMT

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    In general I like mailing lists to be set up so that replies go to the list, (rather than the sender), and I have set up all of my own mailing lists that way, even though the results are sometimes confusing or amusing. One year a friend of mine on my old Social Technology list replied to one of my messages with invitation to come for Christmas dinner, which was broadcast to almost a hundred people around the world.

    My last message should have gone directly to the people who posted the query, but I just hit reply and so it went to the whole list. That's OK. Nothing private about it. But if I had intentionally sent it to the whole list I would have prefaced it with the usual quotation convention: "Michael Cahill" <> wrote:", which helps make messages intelligible to people who are not following the threads very closely.

    By the way, the message I was replying to looks a lot like the kind of April Fool's trick that various people sometimes send me, and which I always fall for -- I hardly ever find any message too unlikely to believe on first reading (having seen so many bizarre but real messages). On second and third reading that message still seems plausible enough, but rationally I can't quite accept that memetics would undergo such a drastic change all of a sudden. Commercialisation would change everything, and a year later memetics would be unrecognizable. Is that really going to happen?

            dpw http://www.SocialTechnology.Org/dpwilson.html

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