RE: virus: Is the term "meme" necessary?

Tom Loeber (
Tue, 14 May 1996 15:35:56 -0700 (PDT)

>>>Richard Brodie wrote:
>>>>There has been some questioning on both lists as to the value of the
>>>>term "meme" versus similar words such as "idea" or "concept." Having
>>>>invested a bit of my reputation in the subtitle of my book, "Virus of
>>>>the Mind: The New Science of the Meme", I'd like to argue for the
>>>>usefulness of the term.
>>>Ah, so you have a vested interest.
>When I read that statement, I imagine you winking and smirking as if
>having a "vested interest" canceled the usefulness of any statement one
>could make. On the contrary, conscious living demands a vested interest
>in EVERY statement one makes. If not, you're spreading unwanted memes.
I apologize. My memes may be unwanted. I really must be living beyond my
memes. I wink and smirk. "Scotty, this is captain Smirk. Meme me up.
There's no intelligent life here." Ah, finally I know why lobbiests (sp?)
have free reign to buy congressmen lunches, party favors, call girls (and
studs). They work to insure truth and fair representation in governmental
>[deleted mass/weight discussion which has been adequately addressed by
As far as I can tell, only one has addressed my disagreement with the
mass/weight analogy and they didn't expound but only agreed with you
(perhaps a good candidate for your monestary). I'm sorry, but until someone
has adequately explained why weight has no conceivable "scientific model" I
remain laughing and smirking at your illogical argument.
>>>>The study of how and why memes evolve and spread will be one of the
>>>>driving forces of social change over the next century; that's why I
>>>>train myself to use the word "meme" and to identify them on a daily
>>>Me thinks the understanding of past and new concepts and how or if they are
>>>spread will have great value concerning social change within the next few
>>>years, let alone the next century. I don't mean to belittle your
>>>contributions or participation but I do seek clear understanding. Are you
>>>with me on that point?
>Your reaction as you seek to understand what added value the memetics
>model has is a very common one from very intelligent and rational
>people. If you keep with it and don't dismiss it, at some point it will
>"click" and you'll shift into the new paradigm. I would suggest you read
>my book if you haven't already.
Thanks for calling me intelligent and rational though, being a human on
earth impells me to believe that I will not have rationality or intelligence
until it is the rule rather than the exception. Reminds me of a time I went
to a Buddhist gathering. I got up to leave in the middle of the ceremony as
I found the totally crowded apartement and the incense overbearing. I was
told "Don't you want to stay and learn? Luckily a friend of mine told the
faith-sufferer to give me my shoes or I would have had to hitch-hike home
bare foot.
>>>BTW, I have no degrees (by choice), am self employed (as little as
>>>possible), live simply and beyond my means (HELP!). I bet you've got some
>>>degrees, I see you are employed by one of the most successful corporations
>>>on this planet and I bet "simple" would be far from descriptive of your
>You lose the bet on degrees. I dropped out of Harvard. I appreciate your
>referring to Brodie Technology as one of the most successful corporations
on >this planet, but I think we have a ways to go in that regard. =)
The first post I saw from you listed you as personal technical advisor to
Bill Gates. Guess I inferred the wrong corporate meme.
>I'm not sure what a "simple" life is, but it sounds like both of us are
enjoying our >lives, and that's what counts in my book. (By the way, I
actually DO have a "book" >about that called "Getting Past OK"
Right on! I am enjoying my life but having this responsibility to keep
humanity from destroying itself and very possibly life's chances in this
portion of universe pushes me into the risky business of faith-alone
ascription bashing. I could do with just a little bit less excitement.
"Getting Past OK?" Do you mean "Getting Passed Okay?" or maybe ""Getting
Pissed OK." Hey, conference moderator! Can I advertise my wares here too?