Re: virus: Re: Rationality (meme make-up)

Tony Hindle (
Fri, 14 Mar 1997 15:56:02 +0000

In message <>, writes
>Tony Hindle wrote:
>> Seriously though, I think spinning off into a fractally
>> recursive explanation is a good way of putting it. I use meme-
>> complex to make explicit what I always mean implicitly when I use
>> the term meme.
>So if we come to the conclusion that there is a fundamental level
>meme, what are we going to call it? Sub-meme? pre-meme? I think
>at this level, the simple term "meme" is too unspecific.
Here is how the memetic lexicon (Glenn Grant). Defines Meme and
meme complex.

MEME: (pron. `meem') A contagious information pattern that replicates by
symbiotically infecting human minds and altering their behavior, causing
them to propagate the pattern. (Term coined by Dawkins, by analogy with
"gene".) Individual slogans, catch-phrases, melodies, icons, inventions,
and fashions are typical memes. An idea or information pattern is not a
meme until it causes someone to replicate it, to repeat it to someone
else. All transmitted knowledge is memetic. (Wheelis, quoted in
Hofstadter.) (See meme-complex).

MEME-COMPLEX: A set of mutually-assisting memes which have co-evolved a
symbiotic relationship. Religious and political dogmas, social
movements, artistic styles, traditions and customs, chain letters,
paradigms, languages, etc. are meme-complexes. Also called an m-plex, or
scheme (Hofstadter). Types of co-memes commonly found in a scheme are
called the: bait; hook; threat; and vaccime. A successful scheme
commonly has certain attributes: wide scope (a paradigm that explains
much); opportunity for the carriers to participate and contribute;
conviction of its self-evident truth (carries Authority); offers order
and a sense of place, helping to stave off the dread of meaninglessness.
(Wheelis, quoted by Hofstadter.)

I have a feeling that the distinction between meme/meme-complex
problem, or the atomic meme problem is of the same nature as for genes.
Dawkins discusses the difficulty, is a codon too small to be a gene?
etc. It would be nice to share an agreed protocol to make our
comunications more fluent. I perceive all memes as divisible (until we
get into quantum memetics :)
Oh shit I am now more confused than I was when I first read Dave
Papes question, Dave you have infected me with your fractally recursive
Anyway Im posting this because it's got the lexicon definitions
in it which you might find helpfull.

Tony Hindle.
deeply confused.