Re: What the hell is a false meme? (was: Re: virus: Destroying

Dave Pape (
Thu, 6 Feb 1997 23:22:21 GMT

At 23:04 06/02/97 -0800, you wrote:

>Dave paped traced David R. saying this:

Lior... what do you mean by this? Do you mean that David R was both "Dave
Paped" and traced, or are you cross at my answer for saying

>>These memes can be true or false
>I disagree. Imagine I have an apple, and I say "this is an apple". You might
>say, "that meme is true", but then what if I rub or sand off tiny bits of
>the apple, and after each rub transmit the meme "this is an apple". After
>which rub, which molecule of apple flesh, will that meme become false?
>Presumably some time before I have no apple flesh left at all... so which
>molecule is the divisor which dictates the truth or falsehood of the meme?
>As far as I'm concerned, memes aren't ever 100% true or 100% false; that's
>not how I'd like to have them benchmarked. I'd like to see people discussing
>how effective they are at replicating, what benefits that meme might confer
>on its host, etc.

Angry for me even /mentioning/ an /analogue/ true 'n' false scale? Is that
why you said

>No matter how do you see a meme, as a metaphor or as an independent
>entity, how could the adjective true\false be stamped on it? It's like
>saying thoughts are green, ain't it?
>No smartass answers on this one, PLEASE.
>Lior. ?

I'd say "true" memes are memes which mesh comfortably with (or is already a
component of) your personal memetic ecological structure, and "false" memes
are memes which don't.

On a social scale, a "true" meme would be a meme which meshes comfortably
with (or is already a component of) the memetic metastructure of that social
group's shared culture. And remember, by that I mean every thought, positive
or negative, which is shared around in that social group.

Oh shit. This looks like me trying to give another smartass answer! It isn't
though, it's actually the genuinely dominant world-view memes in my
memespace right now.

Dave Pape
The memetic equivalent of a G3 bullpup-design assault rifle blowing a full
clip at my opponent. (Alex Williams 1996)

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