Re: facets of meme-talk

Bill Spight (
Sat, 28 Aug 1999 10:54:21 -0700

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 10:54:21 -0700
From: Bill Spight <>
Subject: Re: facets of meme-talk

Dear RP,

RP But I guess
RP I am bothered by a tendency for people to treat memes (and, in standard evolutionary
RP biology, genes) as abstract bits of information. To say that something IS
RP information seems about as enlightening as saying that something IS
matter or IS
RP energy.


Good point.

I do not have the reference at hand, but I believe that Weber made a similar point about cultural artifacts. Without meaning they are just things. Abstract information is not cultural, per se. Embodied knowledge is.

Earlier you wrote:

I suggest that, in the spirit of Dawkins, genes are indeed naked selfish bits of
DNA, and memes are naked selfish bits of ......hmmm, stumped, here. Help me out.


I think that the reason you are stumped is that memes are polymorphic.

Also, as cultural entities, they are enmeshed in a web of meaning. They can be abstracted from the web, but at a loss.

Best regards,

Bill Spight

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