Re: memetics-digest V1 #21

Ton Maas (
Mon, 2 Mar 1998 20:28:13 +0100

Message-Id: <v03102803b120b778de92@[]>
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 20:28:13 +0100
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #21

>Hans-Cees Speel writes:
> > I am afraid I do not understand the question:-( Was it part of an
>> example?
>It was part of an example. (A joke written 1000 years ago is translated by
>an archeologist--was it a `meme' while the language it was written in was
>still dead?) But maybe I should have phrased the question better.
>If a meme must me encoded, transmitted, and decoded, what do we call the
>encoded information between the time it is encoded and decoded. Is that
>pattern of symbols the `meme' itself? (I have my doubts.) And if not,
>what is it?
>Is there any agreed upon terminology for the patterns which serve to
>transmit memes?

There's always the option of "essential" versus "processual" definitions.
Which one is chosen usually follows from the underlying world-view.
Dualists tend to favor "essential" definitions, while cybernetically
informed monists prefer processual ones. In the end there seems to be no
common ground upon which this argument can be settled. Radical monists are
rare - most fashionable monists are actually dualists-in-disguise and
unfortunately Dawkins is no exception.


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