Memes as Maps

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Sun, 31 May 1998 09:11:15 EDT

From: <>
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 09:11:15 EDT
Subject: Memes as Maps

L 23 C 71 IAW 491k c:\notes\6-1-98.msg
meaninglessness. (Wheelis, quoted by Hofstadter.)

In "MEME UPDATE #3: What Is a Meme?" Richard Brodie wrote:
>>Since then, there has been a great deal of thought from many camps
as to the nature of the meme. Does it have a physical existence? Does a
meme in your head remain constant, or does it change over time? Are
words written down on paper memes. or are memes only memes when they're
in your mind?<<

I think we might find a resolution if we recognize as a principle that:

Structure is information, and information is structure.

Information is embodied in the structural configuration of matter. It
is clear that a structural configuration of one medium can map onto that
of another. A computer program written on paper in Pascal can be mapped
to a configuration of 0s and 1s in a computer's RAM memory. It is also
clear that this mapping is done by means of an 'action', 'process', or
'behavior' of matter. And inasmuch as the behavior of matter is a
consequence of its configuration, _and_ of the configuration of the
environment in which it finds itself, a meme can be regarded as a
special case of this more general principle, i.e. applied to the
configuration of the human nervous system and its consequent behavior, and the
mappings of that behavior onto its environment, and vice versa, etc.

Chris Turner 6-1-98

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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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