Re: Critical thinking in memetics

Bruce Howlett (
Sat, 23 May 1998 20:09:16 +0000

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 20:09:16 +0000
From: Bruce Howlett <>
Subject: Re: Critical thinking in memetics


I was getting a bit frustrated with the some of the critical hyperbole
which seemed to be a juvenile game of "I know more than you do".
Perceptions are realities to individuals and a list debate is simply a
sharing of perceptions. While it is important for a science to have
mutually agreed definitions and terms (in order to communicate
successfully), the content or subject should continue to evolve. (no
doubt preaching to the converted!)

The reason for lurking for so long is that I was hoping for a few hints
as to what actually makes a meme contagious. We have some clues but
nothing specific in the way of a grouping of words or thoughts. One
penomenon I observed recently leads me to think that a major factor is
pattern identification. If I am right in thinking that a catchy song is
in fact a meme, then one sure fire way of selling a new song is to have
a link to a well known already popular song. The new song in question
is "Never Ever" by the All Saints. If you listen carefully to the
background melody, it is in fact "Amazing Grace" with an up tempo
overlay. Needless to say, it is already enormously popular. Is there
any work that looks at the memes themselves and identifies or
categorises specific infections and or agents. I have recently ordered
a lot of books from, yours and Brodie's among them, but I
would obviously prefer to access the information on the web if


Bruce :-)

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