RE: The photocopier meme

N Rose (
Mon, 09 Jun 1997 15:28:58 +0000

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 15:28:58 +0000
From: N Rose <>
Subject: RE: The photocopier meme

Nick wrote:
>>"Is a photocopier a replicator?"; after all it *appears* to
>>copy things. The answer is obviously no, in my opinion.

Dr Price wrote:
>For the photo-copier in its functional role 'copying' then I
>agree it is not a meme. But consider the replicative
>proliferation of photocopiers since their invention. They have
>created organisational and individual habits of copying and
>storing which encourage the further spread of photocopiers. I am
>not saying this is good or bad, simply that from the photocopier
>meme's perspective it has been highly successful at replicating.
>I suspect in fact that we have to acknowledge the existence of
>' technological memes' or technomemes which replicate
>indepenently of other memetic 'phyla' such as language memes
>[linguomemes] or belief memes and would be interested to know if
>anyone else has pursued this distinction.

Cloak's orginal paper on the differentiation between i-culture
and m-culture deals a little with this. He suggests mechanisms
whereby aspects of m-culture (i.e. the artifacts of culture) can
change the environment in such a way that other forms of
m-culture have an advantage. Indeed it is the complexity and
interdependance of cultural artifacts that impresses me into
thinking that perhaps there is evolution within culture; as only
evolution provides us with an explanation of that complexity and
apparent design without a designer.

You suggest that technomemes replicate independantly of other
memetic phyla, such as language and belief. I'm not certain that
they do, but then I must confess I'm a bit hazy about the
distinction you make. Perhaps you could spell it out more fully?

PS: I spelt Richard Brodie's name wrong in my last e-mail. It's
'Brodie' not 'Broglie' who helped derive the mind virus position
- my apologies!

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