RE: Selfish meme?

From: Price, Ilfryn (
Date: Thu Jan 24 2002 - 15:44:47 GMT

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    Subject: RE: Selfish meme?
    Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 15:44:47 -0000
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    > From: Grant Callaghan []
    > Sent: 24 January 2002 15:13
    > A word means whatever you use it to mean. You could call it
    > "flubber" and
    > it wouldn't matter as long as you make clear how you are
    > using it and what
    > you mean by it. So it makes no difference what the Romans
    > used it for, nor
    > the millions of other people who have used the word for their
    > own purposes
    > -- all that counts when you use a word is what YOU are using it for.

    An interesting example of how 'selfish' memes work. We all have a tendency to develop 'our' own, different, meanings for words. That way
    their chance of replication (perhaps in some cases survival' in the replication space of human 'conversation' is increased (specialist
    fields such as sciences excepted). It causes no end of confusion to those doing the conversing but from a meme's (word or phrase's)
    perspective what the hell. It gets them replicated.

    And no I am not claiming the word 'motive' as a meme, but the words 'gene' or 'meme' or 'Facilities Management' or 'Business Process
    Rengineering' or 'Quality Circles' (which I would claim as memes, and which others have analysed as 'self-replicating discourses') show
    precisely the same tendency.

    Much better, and a small blow for "freedom from the tyranny of the selfish replicators" to inquire into meanings and stick, where possible,
    with precision.

    If Price
    Facilities Management Graduate Centre
    Sheffield Hallam University
    Unit 7 Science Park
    Sheffield S1 1WB
    T +44 (0)114 225 4032
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