Re: Death and Diana

Mario Vaneechoutte (
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 11:12:59 +0200

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 11:12:59 +0200
From: Mario Vaneechoutte <>
Subject: Re: Death and Diana

Paul Marsden wrote:

> To be added to thread on Blackmore on Diana
> Diana and the Crash Contagion

Very interesting comments, but snipped for brevity.

> This, I hope, illustrates the importance of breaking out of the
> methodological individualism that permeates much memetic thought. The
> structure of society in terms of the lines and channels of communication is
> a key determinant in the success of particlar memes. In other words the
> relationship to the ownership of the means of transmission of memes is
> critical to their success. All memes are created equal, but some memes have
> a structural advantage of proximity to the means of transmission.

You are absolutely right about the importance of the means of transmission.
Another example: write a book and your memes will be more successful than when
you write a scientific article, simply because books can reach a broader
audience, or because - as commercial products - they are propagated by
commercial companies. This is often overlooked. It adds some more contingency to
the differential success = spread of memes.

But not all memes are created equal: some have more appeal to our psychological
comfort than others. E.g., those memes which confer certainty, self image
confirmation, etc will always do better, given equal transmission capacities as
competitor memes.


Department Clinical Chemistry, Microbiology & Immunology
University Hospital
De Pintelaan 185
9000 GENT


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