RE: A Test

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Fri Oct 05 2001 - 12:35:56 BST

  • Next message: Vincent Campbell: "RE: state of memes"

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    Subject: RE: A Test
    Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 12:35:56 +0100 
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            <Commit suicide now.>
            <White people are stupid gay racist fucks.>
            <Reply to this mail now.>

            Two things here. First, none of these are memes the first and last
    are instructions/suggestions depending on one's interpretations, the middle
    one is a statement. Such things may only become memes if they are
    replicated, transmitted by people you've sent them to.

            Second, the point here is that the minds into which these phrases go
    when they are read are all different, and will be stored differently,
    interpreted differently, remembered or instantly forgotten etc. etc. Why?
    One reason is that each individual has a unique set of personal experiences,
    memories etc. such that the exact pattern of information storage in each
    individual is going to be different. Thus if a meme existed in a mind, in
    order to get into another mind, it would have to change its form. If it
    changed its form, then it is not a replicator, and therefore the whole
    analogy breaks down.

            The only way the analogy can work is if we junk what's going on in
    people's minds (not that it's irrelevant), and instead concentrate on the
    only things that can be demonstrably replicated- the cultural artifacts
    themselves, such as these phrases.

            Reply to this mail now.

            There, I've replicated one of the messages.

            What matters is the causal factors that impact on whether an
    artifact is replicated or not, but this is a sociological, or social
    psychological question.


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