Particle/Field analogies in memetics?

Dave Gross (
Wed, 10 Dec 1997 10:04:36 +0800 (GMT-8)

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 10:04:36 +0800 (GMT-8)
From: Dave Gross <>
Subject: Particle/Field analogies in memetics?
In-Reply-To: <>

A frequently-recurring discussion on this list and wherever meme theory is
discussed is the attempt to pin down just what a meme is. Is it physical
(words on a page, sounds in a primate) or conceptual; what is the most
basic and irreducable element of meme-hood; etc.

It is somewhat heartening to see that the application of natural selection
thinking to biology has been able to go ahead without there being a
well-defined and -agreed-upon definition of "gene."

Things are complicated because each meme that infects an organism seems to
alter the other memes in that organism's environment through context, so
that each 'meme' when treated as an individual item is unique in its
position in the collection of all memetic things and can't be categorized

Makes me wonder if perhaps it's time to look at memes holistically, as
being a mutually-interactive meme-field rather than a hopelessly
complicated mish-mash of isolated meme-objects.

If the meme is the 'electron' of memetics, what is the 'electromagnetic
field' of memetics?

And will this approach lead to more answers, or just an independent set of
unanswerable questions?

-- Dave Gross

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