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From: Keith Henson
> Idea is very close in "meaning space" to meme, but meme has the
> replication aspect attached.
> So you could have Watt's *idea* about how to improve steam engines
> "separate condenser" which you would use to describe Watt's study and
> coming up with the idea. You would use the *meme* of "separate
> condenser" when you wanted to talk about Watt's idea spreading like
> wildfire among the steam engineers of the day.
It was still an idea when it began spreading among engineers who studied it
and approved of it, but before long its propagation would have taken on its
own momentum and become memetic. Gradually the idea becomes set, and no one
much examines it anymore. In other words, it wasn't simply an idea in
Watt's mind and a meme in everyone else's. It began as an idea that spread
through conscious intention and then picked up "steam" as it became
ingrained. Even in Watt's mind it eventually would have become memetic.
> I have often written that an idea fails to be a meme (at best it is a
> potential meme) when someone has an idea and never communicates
> the idea.
True. It's not a unit of culture until it gets beyond the mind that
generated it. Failing that, even if it becomes ingrained, it's not a meme,
just a personal habit of thought.
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