The Extended Memeotype

Reed Konsler (
Sat, 10 Apr 1999 16:50:18 -0400

Message-Id: <v02140b10b33564dfbdf4@[]>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 16:50:18 -0400
From: (Reed Konsler)
Subject: The Extended Memeotype

>From: "Richard Brodie" <>
>Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 16:12:11 -0700
>Subject: RE: The Extended Memeotype
>Before enlightenment, mountains, rivers.
>During enlightenment, no mountains, no rivers.
>After enlightenment, mountains, rivers.

:-) That is a special favorite of mine.

I think I might say it this way, though:

>Before enlightenment, "mountains", "rivers".
>During enlightenment, no "mountains", no "rivers".
>After enlightenment, mountains, rivers.

Do you understand?

>I also don't have a problem with calling the same
>information a meme when it is written down,
>when a bridge is built, etc., as long as we look
>at it from the perspective that it's the embodies
>information, not the artifact, that's the meme, and
>that it only matters when it interacts with minds.

Becuase minds are, at present, the only fully
capable medium for memetic reproduction, right?

OK, I see this. I can think of machines like watches
calculators, palm which we abdicate
cognitive functions. But without the minds, these
machines couldn't reproduce. They embody
information, but they don't have the machinery
to replicate that information independently. In
the end, they are all perhipherals. It's kind of

If a tree falls in the forest and there isn't anyone
to hear it, does it make a sound?

The answer is: if there isn't anyone to hear it,
then it *doesn't matter* if it made a sound.


But the artefacts do play a special role because
they are the only memes which can be shared
simultaneously between a hundred
people looking up at the Eiffel Tower. Also,
every meme in a mature adult's head has got to
be squeezed in there via an artefact. Even
"instinct" has to be materially transmitted
information of some sort...biochemical, sonic,
electric, stone doesn't matter.

Is that what you mean when you say you're
a "software person"?


Reed Konsler

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)