Re: virus: Meme vs concept

Tom Loeber (
Tue, 14 May 1996 02:04:10 -0700 (PDT)

>*****Tad Niwinski(May13,6:44pm)
>The question is: what is the difference between a concept and a meme?
>I'd like to expand on this later but for now:
>To paraphrase Dennett:
>The "meme's" eye-view allows us at least this one new perspective:
>Ideas may perpetuate our culture, not becuase they are benificial to us, but
>because they are good at getting themselves replicated.

I don't know of Dennett. I suggest that we get a grasp on older terminology
before introducing new, e.g., "culture" means different things in different
contexts. The context of that quote uses "culture" in a way that I would
prefer have less value in a weighted hierarchical scheme of concepts than
the "culture" I describe in the next couple of sentences. There is a
culture, the medium in which we all have grown and live (unless you be from
TeTa) that is known as our biosphere. That is a culture that suffers much
neglect and abuse. Though you may not be aware, that very real and most
gracious culture medium is in danger of rapid and catastrophic collapse
unless one garners their knowledge from conventional media: "Don't worry. Be
happy. (Get screwed)." BTW, I don't have a beard (at this time) and I don't
carry a "repent, the end is at hand" placard on a street corner. With
knowledge and understanding we can secure this space colony.

>If this is the only new perception which comes out of memetics it is a valuable
>one. The idea has been stated before: "Religion is the opiate of the masses"
>and such. But herein is contained the potential of understanding something
>very important:
Heretofore, perhaps, religion has been the opiate of the masses. I still
hold out for a religious concept that does not negate aware and functional
behavior, rather than opiate-like stupor. It's not difficult to draw
diagrams of existing and past so-called religious concepts using a markov
chain as the base model, e.g, Christianity has (correct me if I'm wrong)
five states of being, alive, purgatory, hell, heaven and god. The diagram
comes out looking like a dotted "Y" with living at the bottom, purgatory at
the center, hell and heaven at the tops of the branches with the dot being
god. Time runs from the bottom up. This model is quite linear and
nonergodic with heaven and hell being totally absorbing states and god being
separate and unattainable to any so-called mortal. Such diagraming shows
great similarities between all heretofore religious concepts which I lump
togethor as being basically existential. These cosmologies appear
nonsensical when one looks at universe with an attempt to adhere to
scientific methodology. Let me know if I bore you.
>Memetics doesn't yet deliver on this promise, but just look at the Memetic
>lexicon contained on the Virus home page. The words themselves grasp to
>explain: "how".
I hold to a conviction that truth does not need proper nouns, i.e. words
that are
capitalized in the middle of a sentence. I don't think it was just a typo
that caused you to capitalize memetics or virus. I see these words have
great value to you. Perhaps they are just what you need to get onto
something more important. I find them obfuscating to my search for meaning
and purpose. Whoa, SACRED COW ALERT!!! Not only do I propose "concept"
instead of "meme" I might also support "reason" rather than "virus." Hey,
we just be gabbing. I could be entirely mistaken. Enlighten me.