RE: i-memes and m-memes

Aaron Agassi (
Sun, 29 Aug 1999 13:24:12 -0400

From: "Aaron Agassi" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: i-memes and m-memes
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 13:24:12 -0400
In-Reply-To: <>

Here is my suggestion for terminology, leaving open the question of
different meme types, or merely different encoding, which rather does seem a
semantic question, anyhow. How about:

Ideas, behaviors, and artifacts. If these are indeed already memes, then
they don't need new names.

But then, they may not always be memes. Or, in such case, are they simply
memes that fail, reproductively? If we say the latter, then all is resolved
and no new jargon is needed.

But is nature memetic? Are natural objects and events random memes that may
re-encode (and redeploy and/or mutate) as impressions and ideas? Is
Empiricism part of Memetics? Views of nature as message laden are not new.
Generally, such views are Teleological. But given the evolutionary nature of
Memetics, such a view of nature as message laden need no longer be
Teleological. This may even be new. Form and idea may only among the
transitional modes of the same thing. But this is also nothing new. Of
course, there are aspects of form that are lost in the idea, merely a
representation. But this is Physics and Ontology. And that is nothing new,
either. But that might make Memetics a Phenomenological problem. That would
be new, I think.

But are certain genes memes?
A standard claim of Memetics is that heredity and culture are uniting into a
single whole. So, if Genetics and Memetics are one, or ever will be, then an
instinctual behavior is simply a meme that encodes chemically. Indeed, if
the instinctual behavior is ever witnessed and imitated cross species, then
the meme as a behavior can be said to have finally re-encoded (perhaps
subject to mutation or reapplication) as an idea, without chemical
mediation. Indeed, it has been suggested that all memplexes must have a
needed instinctual basis as an indispensable component.

Together the preceding paragraphs raises another question:
Is Memetics only part of Mimetics?

If all this overly broadens Memetics, then perhaps that only serve to
illustrate the problems of ever raising the analogy of Memetics into a true

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