RE: Three Scientists and Their Gods

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 06:43:22 GMT

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    Subject: RE: Three Scientists and Their Gods
    Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 22:43:22 -0800
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    <<I have been thinking about Aaron's idea that we should dispose of the
    word meme, and call them replicators. >>

    Well, we already DO call replicators "replicators." The meme, as settled
    upon by Dawkins and Dennett anyway, is a replicator based in the mind. I
    think everyone agrees the (mental) meme is not the only cultural replicator.
    It's just such a neat word I think people want to use it to refer to
    whatever replicator they're fascinated by. Much of the historical traffic on
    this list has been of that nature. Prof. Tim proposed "L-meme" (should
    really be "D-meme" for the originator of the definition) for a mental
    replicator and "G-meme" for an artifactual one. In my book I called the
    former "meme" out of respect to Dawkins and Dennett and spent much paper on
    discussion of complex replicators---similar to Bloom's
    "superorganisms"---that make use of minds and memes for their growth and
    persistence. I called those "viruses of the mind" and did and do find them a
    more fascinating study than individual memes, which as many have pointed out
    are invisible, intangible, and difficult to study. They are conceptually
    cool, however.

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