virus: Meme-Space (from The Discipline of Translation)

Tim Rhodes (
Thu, 3 Jul 1997 14:48:47 -0700 (PDT)

Reed wrote:

> If you like, visualize it this way. Radiating from a point in space are an
> arbitrary number of lines each extending an arbitrary distance following an
> arbitrary vector. This is "meme-space". When we evaluate a specific
> thesis, we compare it's magnitude and vector against the corresponding
> values of all other theses. This web of influence can be thought of as a
> sort of "meme-gravity" each idea influencing all the others.

I want to get back to this.

Now, some questions:

Is the distance and vector really arbitrary? What is the relationship
between meme-points in this field? Are there areas in this meme-space
that are, for lack of a better word, healthier for memes to inhabit. That
is to say, are there favorable niches that memes will have a tendency to
cluster around because the memes in those regions survive longer? How do
we want to understand "meme-gravity" in this model?

-Prof. Tim