Re: memes defined operationally (from article)

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Sun 19 Jan 2003 - 10:26:30 GMT

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    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    > Most memes don't commit suicide. They just die out from lack of use.
    > we don't use, we lose. Their space in the brain is take over by things
    > ARE being used. That's how our environment shapes our brains. That's one
    > of the basic realities that mark the difference between genetic evolution
    > and memetic evolution. Cells can commit suicide but memes can't. Death
    > written into their code. If memes don't fit the environment they were
    > transferred into, they just fade away from lack of use. It's their
    > environment that does away with them rather than their internal structure.
    > Memes have no telomeres.

    Hi Grant,

    Yes, I understand, but what I got in mind is more of a mechanism by which memes are formed. What commits ' suicide ', if you allow me the expression is the initial information that in a later stage of de- velopment became irrelevant to what became the ' meme '. If, we can agree on the fact that during eons of time information is accumulative introduced in the immediate surroundings of any seman- tic entity, we have to acknowledge that parts became irrelevant and others important.

    If we call one a jerk, we can be sure that the constant swarm of com- petitive metaphors would yes indeed challenge every innate endowment, whatever kind of pre- existing knowledge and the domian of the meme(s)-
    (plexes(s)) of the receptor. Here, IMO, the " classic" interpretation of what we don 't use, we lose, is overthrown. Rapid neural changes are needed to comprehend what is going on. Such information would manifest its dirty works on the level of the self- esteem, identity and the self- plex. In that case, " suicidial memes " can help to shape an image of the new picture that the self- plex has of itself. A fast memetic adaptation is needed.

    Understanding that you were to be a jerk, no intention here of course, if you had always be convinced that you were not, breaks down any neural pathway you have about the Self you are. To make room, so to speak, for the new info, it must be skewed in, memes have to commit suicide. It is the fastest way to make place for than superior memes.

    I am not sure, how can I be, but I think that 's what happens on the broader level of ' meme- making '. Information is constantly introduced in the memepool, certain infor- mation begins to form clusters and eventually when a certain threshold is reached all irrelevant info is blow away, commits suicide or what- ever. What you get is a certain ' meaning ', a crude meme(plex). Information collapse in on itself and forms ' meaning ' memetic style. Its sounds a little bit quantum- like....



    " Having imagination is better than to have knowledge " ( Einstein )

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