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>We might divide memes into two types. Logical memes exploit our capacity
>for rational thought. Pathological memes exploit our unconscious need to
>believe certain things and not others. We don't really get infected by
>logical memes. They simply follow from our perception of reality. But
>infection by pathological memes causes us to project a false "reality"
>rather than accepting the genuine article.
I *like* this. Perhaps "pathological" is overdoing it a bit.
Pathological implies that adoption of these memes can lead to
destructive behaviors, which is not necessarily true. Some behaviors
resulting from "pathological" memes is quite adaptive.
There should be another category too though: memes arising from
logical errors. As in the woman who, after breaking up with her
boyfriend, declares that "All men are assholes." Overgeneralization
is a common logical error. Cognitive therapy says that people are
prone to many different but common errors of logic, especially during
childhood, when our brains are less developed. Therapy involves
revisiting childhood learning experiences and "relearning" things
(correcting errors of logic) (modifying memes?). There are lists out
there of the common logical errors to which humans are prone.
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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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