Re: I know one when I see one

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Wed 30 Oct 2002 - 16:04:06 GMT

  • Next message: Bill Spight: "Re: I know one when I see one"

    > > There are other memetic features to language that I could go into but
    > > is getting too long and drawn out already. But my point is that it is a
    > > method of transferring thoughts out of my head into yours. What I'm
    > > grappling with is the question of whether the meme lies in the process
    > > just in elements of the process? Many of the people on this list want
    > > break the process into its elements and refer to one or another of those
    > > elements as the meme. I have been guilty of this myself. But the more
    > > wrestle with what I see going on, the less sure I am that anything less
    > > the entire process makes sense as a unit of culture passed.
    >Let's call the meme inside the transmitter memeA, the meme is subjected to
    >modifications over time and hence can be written as a function of time:
    >Now memeA(t) gets transmitted to a recipient at time t1, the meme is not
    >carried over and this discrepancy with the original will be accounted for
    >labeling it
    >different from the original meme (memeA) as memeA'.
    >Also in the recipient's possession the memeA' gets jumbled around with
    >existing memes: it gets
    >distorted, modified and what not. The meme memeA' thus also develops a
    >record of time-dependent
    >mutation which we may write as: memeA'(t') with t'>=t1. That is, memeA'(t')
    >is the copy of
    >memeA(t) in the possession of the recipient at times greater or equal than
    >Does this clear up things?
    So you're saying the word meme could be applied to the entire process, with the constituents of the process being labeled memeA, and memeA(t). After transmission it becomes memeA' and changes to memeA'(t') as it evolves
    (changes) within the mind of the receipient. The time of residence in the recipient can be referred to as t1.

    I could work with something like that for analytical purposes. It might even lend itself to mathematical analysis.

    It definitely gives me something to ponder.


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