Re: what's a meme

Chris Cleirigh (
Fri, 13 Jun 1997 11:33:13 +1000 (EST)

Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 11:33:13 +1000 (EST)
From: Chris Cleirigh <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: what's a meme

Bill Benzon wrote:

>This is where I got the strange idea that it's the physical stuff
>out in the environment which is the memes (and went on to
>speculate that the mental things in the brain are the
>components and processes of cultural phenotypes).
>The orthodox memetic position of course, is the reverse.

Does this view stand up when applied to language?
Ink patterns on paper are memes, and their cultural phenotypes
are "the mental things in the brain"?
How does language emerge on this model...
phenotype first, for example?

Given that the meaning of the morpheme 'pheno-' traditionally
is associated with 'appearance', and given that
"the mental things in the brain" are not observable as
cultural units, you are proposing a radical redefinition.


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