From: Davi Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed 30 Nov 2005 - 01:00:24 GMT
>>relatively enduring concepts/terms/ideologies
>>like "equality" or "liberty" also memetic,
>Ask yourself, are they information? Do they replicate? Do
That is largely my question: ARE they information (and in
what sense)? Because it seems that something like "equality"
is very polysemous, and that enhances its longevity. It is
attractive to people because its meaning seems so grounded,
or evident, but it tends to get deployed with very different
connotations and effects. So my difficulty is trying to
think _what_ about equality is memetic (or what defines
equality as a meme): is it the term itself, and its
replication is enhanced by this perceived universality of
meaning? Or is it something about the information it
embodies. And if the latter is the case (which seems more in
line with memetics, to my understanding), how to pinpoint
the "essence" of the meme, given its variable usage
throughout history and across contexts.
Things like songs, making shoes and chipping rock (or
hanging Xmas trees upside down--just read about this in the
AJC and it screamed "meme" to me) seem to me to be
more "material" than abstract concepts or ideas, easier to
understand as concrete practices. For the abstract ideas, I
am stuck on how to identify what might define them
(They definitely influence behavior, and they do seem to replicate).
>>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
>unique. People often *die* due to the influence of memes."
>>Thanks for any insight,
>This was distributed via the memetics list associated with
>Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information
>For information about the journal and the list (e.g.
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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