Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Sun Feb 10 2002 - 22:04:41 GMT

  • Next message: Philip Jonkers: "Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 2 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)"

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    Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
    Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 13:04:41 -0900
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    > The new study is called memetics after "meme" (which rhymes with
    > cream). "Meme" is a coined word from a Greek root for memory, and
    > purposefully similar to "gene." Dawkins devoted the last chapter of his
    > earlier book, The Selfish Gene, to defining memes and discussing the
    > survival of these replicating information patterns within the meme-pool
    > (roughly culture). "Meme" is close to "idea," but not all ideas are
    > memes. An idea which fails to propagate beyond the person who first
    > thinks of it is not a meme. "Beliefs," especially organized and promoted
    > beliefs, are memes, or, depending on how you think about them,
    > cooperating groups of memes. I will use memes, ideas, replicating
    > information patterns, and beliefs as similar terms in this article.

    I'm with Derek when he argues that beliefs by themselves are not memetic.
    A state of belief may emerge from adopted memes though. For example, the
    meme `god exists' is easily transmitted to everyone. The actual belief in
    the meme
    is quite a different story. A first requirement of believing it is that it
    to be compatible with your religious worldview. Atheists don't believe it,
    do. The concepts `belief' and `meme' thus seem to behave independently.


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