Re: Measuring Memes

Hans-Cees Speel (
Tue, 1 Jun 1999 17:01:09 +0200

From: "Hans-Cees Speel" <>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 17:01:09 +0200
Subject: Re: Measuring Memes
Message-Id: <>

> Hello,
> I have just joined the list, My name is Bill Chambers. I am a
> personality psychologist who has studied the measurement of personal
> constructs over the past 25 years. I have developed repertory grid
> measures of logical consistency, integrative complexity, looseness
> versus tightness, and formal causation. All of these methods are
> relevant to the evolution of constructs/ideas. A friend recently
> suggested that I have much in common with the folks working with memes and
> that my methods may be of use in the measurement of memes.

I think there certainly is. There is interest in such issues in the
Journal of Memetics!

> I do not know much about memes and would appreciate learning about them as
> quickly and efficiently as possible.

I will try to answer them if you can learn us what grid analysis is
and the other things you mention..

I have a few questions:
> 1. Has the definition of memes got anything to do with the notion of
> entailment? Does a meme imply its subsets/subordinates? What is the
> definition of memes?

There are many definitions. They about all share that a meme is a
replicator, and thus defined by heritage. It is thus an historic
definition, as it is with genes. But beyond being a replicator, there
are many definitions. Form memes being ideas, to being behaviors,
to being artifacts. Since it is historci, I do not know if you can
speak of subsets and so on. Perhaps in memeplexes. Others have

> 2. Has anyone discussed the difference between Aristotle's notions of
> formal versus efficient cause in the context of memes?

hmm, I am not sure.

> 3. Are all memes self replicating?

I think non are. Cells in biology are self replicating, but memes
need brains. They can contain receipts that make brains replicate
them, and this is often called self-replicating. No most memes are
not self-replicating.

> 4. Has the distinction between internal logical consistency and truth been
> discussed in the meme literature?

I do not understand this I am afraid.

> 5. Is there interest in the development of quantitative measures of
> memes?

There is a desperate need for it.

> Thanks,
> William (Bill) Chambers, PhD


Theories come and go, the frog stays [F. Jacob]
Hans-Cees Speel
Managing Editor "Journal of Memetics Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission" submit papers to

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