Re: virus: 200 words for snow

Dave Pape (
Fri, 6 Jun 1997 23:09:53 +0100 (BST)

At 15:08 05/06/97 -0700, Grant Callaghan wrote:
>On Thu, 5 Jun 1997, Dave Pape wrote:
>> >>
>> >There's a problem that memetics has yet to clear up. If someone uses
>> >a meme to make a different point, does that make it a new meme? If so,
>> >then we just might have 600 memes for snow.
>> Well, memes have fuzzy boundaries and that but you could say "same meme,
>> transmitted with different companion memes, the 'different point' is a
>> different metameme."
>The only problem with that philosophy is that every time you use a word
>or phrase, you use it in a slightly different way to make a slightly
>(or significantly) different point. That would make every use of a word
>the creation of a new meme. Kind of self defeating isn't it?

Erm... except I don't think you often express a meme with a single word.
And, it's not /creation of a new meme/, it's /expression of a different meme/.

The old "what's the boundary of a meme/is a single word a meme" issue is
always one that freaked me out. Dunno if you ever saw any of my posts about
the issue... I used to bang on about all memes being metamemes formed by the
interaction of other memes.

Nowadays, I guess I'd still say that they are, but also that they're
constructs in their own right, feedback-emergents.


>That would make every use of a word the creation of a new meme.

Not a new one... a slightly mutated expression of the meme you "had in
mind". How often do you express an idea with 100% perfection on the first
attempt? Or, is it more like a scattergun approach, where you fire loads of
ideas off which are CLOSE to what you want to transmit, and hope that the
person you're talking to "gets it"? Your (like, one's) approach always falls
between the two, I think.

Dave Pape
I am ready.

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