Re: A Question for Wade

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Wed Nov 28 2001 - 10:58:32 GMT

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    Subject: Re: A Question for Wade
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    On Tue, Nov 27, 2001 at 04:11:31PM -0500, Lawrence DeBivort wrote:
    > Scott asks:
    > > What's so special about the "meme" term? Why can't we just use "idea",
    > > "belief", or "concept" to say the same thing? As Ernst Mayr says of the
    > > meme:
    > >
    > > (bq) "It seems to me that this word is nothing but an unnecessary
    > > synonym of
    > > the term "concept"." (eq)
    > Yes, unfortunately, some have fallen into this too-broad definition of meme.
    > I prefer to limit 'meme' to refer to those ideas, concepts, beliefs that are
    > self-disseminating and self-protecting.

    That's funny, because for me it's too narrow.

    While a distinction can certainly be drawn between communicated and
    uncommunicated ideas, I don't see it as very significant, and only in
    relatively rare situations would what is at one point in time an example
    of the latter be barred from later being communicated.

    On the other hand, in a community without linguists or the like, most
    or all characteristics of the local accent are memes of which noone is
    ever conscious, ie memes but not ideas, concepts or beliefs. The value
    of the term meme is that it includes such phenomena.

    "The distinction between mind and matter is in the mind, not in matter."
    Robin Faichney -- inside information --

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