Re: Memetic invasion!

From: Gene Doty (
Date: Fri 18 Jun 2004 - 14:49:18 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Memetic invasion!"

    Keith Henson wrote:
    > At 01:40 PM 17/06/04 +1000, you wrote:
    > But I wasn't clear about what I was trying to ask. Has anyone used
    > "meme" on the consumers? As in "buy our memes!" or "Joe Blow has the
    > better meme set, vote for him as dog catcher!" So far I can't think of
    > an example.
    > Keith Henson
    Perhaps this isn't quite what you're asking, but it's probably connected--in a recent novel (_The_Face_), Dean Koontz makes passing reference to memes and memetics. Koontz is "selling" the consumer a chill at the perfidy of intellectuals, however:

            "Even Ms. Dowd, his English and reading tutor, didn't expect him to
    _enjoy_ books; she doubted they were good for him. She said books were relics; the future would be shaped by images, not by words. In fact, she believed in "memes," which she pronounced _meems_ and defined as ideas that arose sponaneously among "informed people" and spread mind-to-mind among the populace, like a mental virus, creating "new ways of thinking."

    I don't know if the inaccuracy of this definition reflects Koontz's understanding. I suspect it does. "Ms. Dowd" is one of several unpleasant (and malicious) "intellectuals" in this novel. Koonz certainly replicates an "intellectuals are dangerous" meme.

    Gene Doty
    (newbie to this list)

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