Re: Meme Extinction

Peter Bentley (
Wed, 28 May 1997 15:01:56 -0700

Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 15:01:56 -0700
From: Peter Bentley <>
Subject: Re: Meme Extinction

Joseph Bloch wrote:
> Peter Bentley wrote:
> > if you can "observe directly" a meme THEN IT IS NOT EXTINCT!
> That's it exactly. My point was that the very act of studying a meme means
> that it cannot be extinct, because by studying it we give it a host mind,
> and thus the meme lives.

We're going round in circles here... But I still don't think you quite
grasp the distinction.

I'm saying that you cannot study a meme, you cannot give a meme 'a host mind'
at all, if that meme is extinct. For if it is extinct, by definition, it no
longer exists in any form at all. You therefore have nothing to study, nothing
to give 'a host mind' to, nothing to 'resurrect'.

All you can do is *infer* that there *might* once have been a meme of a specific
nature. You cannot directly study an extinct meme.

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