Re: List of meme definitions

Aaron Lynch (
Fri, 10 Apr 1998 16:29:15 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 16:29:15 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: List of meme definitions
In-Reply-To: <>

At 08:10 PM 4/10/98 +0000, you wrote:
>I hope you will consider this also a reasonable question:
>My perspective on memetics is one of trying to understand the mechanics
>of culture. I perceive that "active" culture is a present continuum of
>beliefs, held by individuals, which manifest themselves in all facets of
>human endeavour, from quilt making to table manners to "polite" social
>intercourse. The "belief" is a norm which is established over time by
>frequent exposure and reinforcement by family and peers. In this
>context, the "belief" does not appear to fall into a category of "meme"
>in spite of the fact(?) that norms are beliefs. I say this because your
>definition appears to favour contagion rather than learning as a
>instantion process. Is any belief a meme?

Many beliefs are memes. I use the term "belief" in a way that encompasses
widespread norms all the way down to propositions asserted by just one.
Notice my book title, below. Thought contagions are only an (important)
subset of memes, and their transmission is only a subset of learning.


>Bruce :-)


--Aaron Lynch

THOUGHT CONTAGION: How Belief Spreads Through Society The New Science of Memes Basic Books. Info and free sample:

=============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see: