Re: Good and Bad Memes ?

Tim Rhodes (
Wed, 22 Dec 1999 19:03:13 -0800

From: "Tim Rhodes" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Good and Bad Memes ?
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 19:03:13 -0800

He who is without name (ca314159) wrote:

>Tim Rhodes wrote:
>> I don't think it's useful to define memes in terms of their relationship
>> with consciousness. Consciousness is an neurological phenomena. (Which I
>> believe they may have located in the brain, but I don't have the article
>> handy at the moment--anyone?)
>COMPLETE Focus story at
>Link to the paper:

Actually, that's not the paper I was thinking of. (But it is interesting.)
This is the one I had in mind:

"A neuronal morphologic type unique to humans and great apes"

>Memes sound to me from what I've read so far, like paths in the mind.
>If someone else has a path with alot of side roads, that path sounds
>useful for getting to other mental "places". Like metaphors linking
>ideas, memes seem to provide roads linking mental places. If someone
>is "not immune" to your meme, they may adopt it, perhaps in place
>of a road that they were using previously which would then become
>If a road is travelled often, it may need widening. The meme may be
>so often used to "explain everything" that you find you have adopted
>it as an "ideology". It may be so "useful" that no one is immune to
>to it. But "useful" is a relative term here and an ideology may be
>"useful" for survival, but not necessarily "moral". Memes seem to
>as much propaganda as useful mental analogies or metaphors.
>Gulliver's travel's for instance, seem packed with memes.
>Same for Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
>Often a "useful" toolbag of memes seems to have a cult following of
>good or bad merits.
>Is this a correct interpretation to some extent ?

I don't know. I'm not familiar with the "road" metaphor you're using so it
doesn't sound quite right to my ears. Why don't you explain a little
further and see if it matches up to my conception of a "meme" -- okay?
(What you're talking about above sounds more like the process of creating
long-term memory than memes to me, at the moment.) Give me a specific

Describe the transmission of a single meme from one person to another and
the ways in which it can mutate in the process. (for example)


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