Re: meme lineages

Bill Benzon (
Thu, 03 Jul 1997 15:42:10 -0400

Date: Thu, 03 Jul 1997 15:42:10 -0400
From: Bill Benzon <>
Subject: Re: meme lineages

Robert G. Grimes wrote:

> Thus, it is astounding to me that we would consider the transfer
> symbology as the meme, as I would simply consider that the "seed,
> germ,
> husk, or armature" through which the true meme is replicated
> (approximated) in the receptive organism.

As far as I can tell, the only thing which passes from one person to
another is the physical symbol -- sound waves in air for speech, light
waves for written language (or other visual symbols). How does the
"true meme" get from one place to another. Is it via telepathy, ESP?
If so, why bother with the physical symbols at all? If you don't want to
fall back on telepathy & the like, then you have to explain how a social
process in which mere physical symbols are "exchanged" between people
results in communication & even creation of ideas, etc. Simply to call
it "meme replication" is to put a handle on an otherwise mysterious
process. It explains nothing.

snip snip

> read argumentation about memes. There always seems to be too much
> attributed to the symbology but there is no doubt that the symbology
> carries the seed of the meme, otherwise, as you have stated, we
> couldn't
> communicate at all.

On the contrary, there is no doubt that the symbology carries nothing
whatever like the "seed" of a "meme." It's just physical stuff. You seem
to think that the symbol carries some non-physical meme/mind stuff which
gets planted in someone's mind and somehow grows into a meme.

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