Re: Meme transmission

Ton Maas (
Mon, 7 Jul 1997 22:54:04 +0200

Message-Id: <v03102801afe705883158@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 1997 22:54:04 +0200
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: Meme transmission

>Has anyone done any actual experiments to calculate the transmission rates
>of memes in a give meme-sphere (culture)?
>I'm thinking here along the lines of engineering a meme (or simple
>meme-complex), making predictions about its success, releasing it into a
>meme-sphere, and tracking its movement, growth, and adaption over time.
>Has this been done (other than in advertising) and if so are the results
>It seems to me this would be a fairly easy task and could offer some
>interesting results.

Hmm. One of the most respected experts on advertizing here in the
Netherlands has recently published a book in which he claims that all so
called "measurements" of the effects of advertizing are dubious, to say the
least, and that those effects are probably much smaller than advertizers
and their clients like to think. It is virtually impossible to perform a
controlled experiment in any real-world situation. Now advertizers *love*
surveys and measurements to "prove" their effectiveness, but this "guru"
just claims it's all bogus science. In reality advertizing works like
fashion - everybody is running after certain "idols", trying to imitate
them without actually copying them exactly. "We want a campaign like ...,
but it has to be creative and original!"

Ton Maas

PS I apologize for just being my memetically cynical self again, but I have
little else to contribute along the lines of this proposal.

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