Re: "Abstract" Memes?

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed 30 Nov 2005 - 00:36:26 GMT

  • Next message: Davi Johnson: "Re: "Abstract" Memes?"

    At 05:56 PM 11/27/2005 -0500, you wrote:
    >Most examples of memes seem to be from popular culture.

    I have more often used chipping rock or making shoes as examples. Sometimes used baseball as an example.

    >relatively enduring concepts/terms/ideologies
    >like "equality" or "liberty" also memetic,

    Ask yourself, are they information? Do they replicate? Do they influence human behavior?

    >and if so, in
    >what sense might they function as memes?

    Most memes are mundane, like rock chipping or shoe making or frivolous such as songs and jokes. But there are memes that induce people to die for them of which "equality," "liberty" and whatever drives the suicide bombers in Iraq are examples.

    "The songs of whales and birds and a number of primate skills such as cracking nuts or fishing for termites fit the definition of memes, so they are not unique to humans. But the *influence* of memes on humans is unique. People often *die* due to the influence of memes."

    >Thanks for any insight,

    best wishes.

    Keith Henson

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