Re: virus: memetics

Drakir (
Wed, 06 Aug 1997 13:22:06 +0100

Brett Lane Robertson wrote:

> Second, the meme must have no specific content; which is to say, it may have
> content but the content must be non-specific enough to move from one content
> specific location to another content specific location--preferably without
> regard to the content itself. This non-specificity is what allows it to be
> transferred. It's lack of specific content would render it a non-specific
> entity, a not-thing (nothing), were it not for the fact that it has a
> recognizable pattern. Content specific entities ("Eric", for example) can
> only be generalized to other, similar, content specific situations (other
> "Erics") so that neither their original pattern ("the specific member of
> virus-l with certain distinguishing characteristics") nor the behavior ("to
> maintain the integrity of the original") is contained within the pattern
> denoted (The word "Eric" doesn't contain the pattern for the person "Eric"
> and therefore doesn't produce the behavior of maintaining the integrity of
> "Eric-ness" because it is too specific in contrasted from
> another word--"man", for example, as used in the context : "Be a man").

OK, the only thing I'd like to add here is that the word "Eric" is
/part/ of the meme (IMO - I'm sure someone will disagree ;). The
structure of a meme is surely made up of the "active" parts (the
behavioral protocols), and the "front-ends", such as phrases and
symbols. For example, the Ideohazard is not so much a Meme, as a
package in which the Memetics Meme is carried. Because of it's nature
(succinct, catchy, etc...) it is easily remembered, and thus easily
propagated. It acts almost like a book-mark in the mind, and when the
host calls up that book-mark it leads to the concept of Memetics. In
the same way "Eric" refers to a book-mark in your mind that holds the
Meme that describes the person "Eric".

"We are the New Breed ... We are the Future" --------------------------------------------