Re: virus: Replication of Memes

Steve Upstill (upstill@sam)
Mon, 12 Aug 1996 09:18:03 -0700

On Aug 2, 10:44pm, KMO wrote:
> Subject: Re: virus: Replication of Memes
> Steve Upstill wrote:
> >On an analytic level, I would contend that we are host to
> >far more memes than could ever be expected to influence us
> >to pass them on. The key elements are 1) the meme's
> >self-containment sufficient to traverse info-vectors (which
> >has interesting structural implications, to be sure), and
> >2) its conformation with the cognitive structures of the
> >host allowing it to take root there.
> Could you unpack this a bit? What exactly should the phrase
> "self-containment sufficient to traverse info-vectors" mean to me?

Sorry to be obscure. What I meant was that a meme must pass through
communication channels to reach another host. Therefore, it has to
have some kind of structure that 1) can be reasonably packaged in a
unit that is in some sense self-contained, and 2) can be expressed
in a signal via some communications medium.

My larger point was in questioning what seemed to me an over-emphasis
on memes motivating their carriers to modify their behavior in order
to pass on the meme. I think that what's more important is that the
memes "fit in the channel".

Steve Upstill