Re: Encoding:- (was Re: Cultural Imperialism as Idea & Meme)

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Tue 01 Jul 2003 - 02:47:24 GMT

  • Next message: "Re: Encoding:- (was Re: Cultural Imperialism as Idea & Meme)"

    At 03:18 PM 30/06/03 -0500, joe wrote:


    >A person could go to a library to write and be writing a scientific
    >treatise, a suicide note, a love letter, or a pornographic poem, just as
    >the same person could do on a sunlit grassy hillside. WHAT is being
    >written, the MESSAGE that is being ENCODED, is the meme. Once
    >one learns how to speak or write, and memorizes a sufficient
    >vocabulary, an indefinite number of memes may be communicated via
    >the common code. Memetics is an irreduceably SEMANTIC enterprize,
    >inextricably intertwined with signification. Memes have individual
    >communicable MEANINGS; otherwise they could not compete with one
    >another for replication in a cognitive environment, for they would be

    I mostly agree with you. You are making the point that it is the information that comprises the meme. I also fully agree with you about meaning being important in meme survival and propagation. But a meme does not *have* to be expressed in words, though generally it can be.

    As an example, consider a song with no words. Or skills which may not be described in words such as making clay pots, or shoes or chipped rocks.

    Keith Henson

    PS. I would not make too big a deal out of arguing here. Most of the large number of web sites are rather close to your expression of what is a meme. The noise is mostly because people get off on the attention of having someone respond to their silly postings.

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