Re: memes defined operationally (from article)

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Fri 17 Jan 2003 - 00:38:38 GMT

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    I recon that thus ' death ' ideas are " passed on "....and thus in a sense,
    ' death ' memes too... !? No !? In a way, those memes are on a death end, literally, but they stay ' alive ' any- way. If we know what the ' neighbouring ' aspects of any idea/ thought/ engram/... are, ( thus the " death", filtered out effects) it will tell us, what is the
    ' meme ' !?



    I believe the ideas that die without being passed on still live in the mind of the person who created them. until they are either replaced by new ideas from lack of use (like words in a language, if we don't use a meme we lose it) or they die with the brain that held them when an individual dies.

    But even if they are not passed on, they affect the environment of new memes picked up by the host. New memes must be integrated into the world view of the host or be lost. The meme/mind is therefore the environment that either welcomes new memes or rejects them.

    Although a Protestant may learn things about a Catholic and his doctrine, he won't see them in the same light as the Catholic. Catholics treat their church doctrine in a different way than Protestants, who see such doctrine as, perhaps, blasphemous. It's obvious that many Muslims see such doctrines in that way and even resort to killing Christians in some places to prevent the spread of their doctrine. Even the Chinese, who are not expecially religious, try to prevent the spread of religious memes. They see them as something to be feared rather than as something to be embraced.

    So the memes that already exist in a person's mind, whether they are passed on or not, have a strong effect on which new memes will be accepted into that mind and how those memes will be treated once they are. If the new memes are passed on, how they are framed in the process will also be affected by existing memes in the mind of the host. If I put a religious fanatic in the category of "terrorist" because of his behavior, others might put that same person in the category of saint and martyr for the same act.

    While the behavioral meme gets passed to both parties,the reception it gets and the place it assumes in relation to the recipient's other memes is primarily determined by the world view of each recipient who receives it. That world view is a product of the culture in which the recipient grew up. That culture is a product of shared memes within a society.

    IMHO, Grant

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