Re: virus: Re: Rationality (meme make-up)
Thu, 20 Mar 97 10:04:12 GMT

> From: Dan Plante <>
> Since memetics, as I understand, is defined in functional, rather than
> morphological or electrochemical terms, don't you already have your
> answer? I mean, wouldn't a "quantum meme", as you put it, simply be
> defined as the simplest parts of an associated complex of ideas, thoughts,
> images, impressions, etc, that can't themselves be disassociated any
> further without losing their ability to reproduce in another host?

That's the definition of the answer, but how far can it be taken? Can
a single neurone firing be considered a meme? Martz suggests that the
smallest meme is the smallest thing that means anything to us, but then
we have the problem of what is meaning?

> One example would be, say, you go to work and during the entire week, every
> time you talk with your co-workers, you scratch twice above your right
> nostril during any slight pause in your speaking that would correspond
> with a comma if it had been written down. Observe them on Monday morning,
> and see if anyone has started doing it. If so, that very simple gesture/idea
> would be a candidate for a memetic quantum.

OK, I see what you mean, but I'd still have to wonder, what meme would cause
you to chose scratching over your right nostril? Surely this is more fundamental
than the action itself.