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

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Tue Feb 12 2002 - 21:43:20 GMT

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    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: RE: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
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    At 12:12 PM 12/02/02 +0000, Vincent wrote:
    > >>Ah, the eternal question of classifying god in memetics terms.
    >For many >>the belief in god is the meme, for some the concept of god is the
    >meme, >>for others it is the instanciation of god through ritual and
    >doctrine that >>are the memes.
    > <I don't see any reason to make such fine differentiations. It is
    >all minor variations on a theme of the big alpha male in the sky.>
    > The reason for differentiation all comes from whether you argue that
    >memes can be beliefs, ideas, or artefacts/behaviours. Some think that all
    >three are memes. Those of us in the last group though don't accept 'belief
    >in god' or the 'idea of god' to be memes at all. They are already well
    >described as beliefs and ideas respectively for us g-meme supporters.

    The only common factor of memes is the information. Using baseball as an
    example, the meme is contained in the brains of those who know how to play,
    in rule books, could be contained in video tape. Any of these sources
    could be used to teach a group of children how to play.

    "God" is a component of most western religious memes (or schemes of
    memes--I don't find the distinction very useful). As such it is replicated
    well over a billion times. As I have mentioned before in my discussions of
    baseball, one way to determine that a person "has" a meme is to see if they
    can teach it. As is rather well known :-) this is certainly a feature of
    cult or religious class memes.

    Sorry I missed the earlier discussion. I find it very had to imagine an
    understanding of memes which would leave out religious memes.


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