RE: Memes are Interactors

Josip Pajk (
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 13:07:10

Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 13:07:10
From: Josip Pajk <>
Subject: RE: Memes are Interactors

At 09:42 23.04.98 -0700, Richard Brodie wrote:

>If there's one myth that memetics should explode, it's that GOOD ideas
>survive better than others simply by virtue of their own virtue. You
>actually can do much more than your modest claim: you can package your ideas
>effectively, like Lady Godiva packaged her message by pressing all the human
>buttons that draw people's attention.

I wrote in one of my previous comments that GOOD or BAD are (receiver) host-related categories. That is, what is good for me have not to be as good for you or for anyone else. But, there are two types of quality that must be identified here:
-The CONTENT quality of the message
-The quality of the message PACKAGE
Some of the buttons you meant probably are something like sex and wealth. Such kind of "slick packages" are a good mean for short-term "fooling" of people responding on a "low" basic instincts level. But such packages are, as Aaron noticed, not productive on a long-term basis because by opening of them and seeing their "stinking" content they develop "immune reactions" to all packages of such kind. So it could be possible that you put a high quality content in such a "cracked" package. This is the reason I will not try to pack my ideas in a Lady Godiva manner (not to mention the poor quality of my "package material" compared with that on her disposal).
The CONTENT quality is the only long-term issue on which memes can rely on. Packages are not only influenced by current fashion trends, cultural or educational differences among potential receiving hosts, but also by the expression (production, packaging) capabilities of the sender host. I agree with the fact that the package is important in attracting attention to its content, but if the content of such packages usually "stinks" all similar packages (and their no-matter-how-good content) will however be rejected.
I had recently an interesting discussion about quality and quantity:
in which I took as an example the "browser war" between Microsoft and Netscape to explain some issues. The recent Marc Andressen withdrawal from Netscape was, in the light of my conclusions from that discussion, the most intelligent move he could made in this situation in order to preserve the quality of his future work.
It is interesting how the term of "transition from quality to quantity and vice versa" triggered the "Marxism" meme of "class struggle" and "socialist economy" in the other two participants (Georgi and Alain), even if it was not my intention to gain such kind of reaction. I'm still working on this issue (memetic mass-engineering) WHY dynamic (self-organized) individuals accede to be part of processes in which they are treated as robot-like, reactive entities. I will appreciate any help about where to find anything published about similar issues. Thanks.


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