RE: Internal meme?

Richard Brodie (
Thu, 30 Sep 1999 13:04:14 -0700

From: "Richard Brodie" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: Internal meme?
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 13:04:14 -0700

Bill Benzon wrote:

<<Just a quick interjection. I don't have any problem with
"internally-stored threat-word vocabularies" or with "internal information
hypotheses" etc. I just don't think those things in the brain a memes, none
of them. Whatever is replicated in cultural processes, it's not the stuff
inside our heads.>>

When you say that those things in the brain are not memes, do you mean they
are not replicators? Are you asserting that it is impossible to conceive of
a replicator located in a human mind? Or that, conceiving of such a thing,
it is impossible to believe that it would have any effect on culture? "Meme"
is most commonly defined as a replicator based in the brain or mind, so to
say that mental information is not a meme is confusing.

That said, I am in complete agreement that there are other kinds of cultural
replicators, and even that memes are potentially not the most interesting

<<Come to think of it, Walter J. Freeman, a neuroscientist at Berkeley, has
ideas about brain dynamics which suggests that internal representations are
unique to us as individuals. If he is correct--and I'm by no means sure of
it--then none of them, no matter what the source, could possibly be memes.>>

Why not? A meme is defined by the effect it has on the future, not by the
way it is stored.

Richard Brodie
Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme"
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