Re: Memes are Interactors

Ton Maas (
Thu, 30 Apr 1998 11:31:14 +0200

Message-Id: <v03102801b16df279f3cb@[]>
In-Reply-To: <00fe01bd73b6$adabc700$3770cacc@lil--elvis>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 11:31:14 +0200
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: Memes are Interactors

>Josip Pajk wrote:
>>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
>>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.
>In what way does packaging effect content (and vise versa)? I suspect that
>the relationship is in some ways dynamic and interrelated--packaging
>informing content and content, packaging to a degree. Does one shape the
>-Tim Rhodes

In real life they are always subtly intertwined. I mean, from a writer's
perspective, the printed word may be predominantly "digital" in its lacking
of "tone" or "colour", but ask any typographer and he will be able to
lecture at length about the far reaching effects of certain typefaces in a
text, affecting content in many ways of which most of us are completely
ignorant. Trying to separate content and form may be like the famous wise
words from a sci-fi writer (can't remember who it was at the moment), who
said there isn't a problem, however complicated, that will not turn out
even _more_ complicated if one gives it enough attention. My point is that
we should be very careful in _not_ attributing notions like "form" and
"content" to the phenomena around us, since they are merely modes in our
own cognitive process of describing those phenomena. With text this is
pretty obvious: to an illiterate organism, text is just a bunch of funny
shapes. Where's the form? Where's the content?


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