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> >We're born into a world already chalk full of ideas, all of which want to
> >seduce us and propagate in our consciousness,
> I don't believe ideas "want" to do anything. It's like saying gold and
> silver "want" to become money.
It's more like genes that want to reproduce. Like genes, memes are selfish.
That's the whole idea of memetics.
> The way people react to these things can be
> good or bad, but that is not the fault of the gold or silver. It's what
> people use them for that makes them anything other than the dirt under our
> feet. Ideas are the same. They just lie there and wait for people to
> them up. What people do with them is a function of each person rather
> the idea itself.
This is the traditional, pre-memetic view. My own acceptance of memes
followed from the recognition that delusions can take on a life of their
own. Scientology, for instance, is a delusion that outlived the person in
whose mind it was conceived. It's the autodelusion, or pathological meme,
that bridges the gap between narcissist and cult. If illogical ideas can
take on their own momentum, why not logical ideas as well? And it makes
sense that ideas would possess self-nature in the context of self-conscious
human mentality. The idea in the animal mind can only be a reflection of
sensory experience. The idea in the human mind is self-generated and
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