virus: Re: respectable
Wed, 06 Aug 1997 16:25:12 +0000

Wade Wrote:
Once this thing called a meme is pinned down (and it ain't yet, folks,
regardless of who's lexicon is being waved about....) then memetics may
indeed open like an umbrella over the aesthetic and social disciplines,
not to mention philosophy, that bastard child of discourse.

I agree with you for the most part, but I feel there are a few other
things that set memetics apart from aesthetics and philology. (and I'll
add cultural anthropology and literary criticism to the list.)

1. Memetics doesn't concern itself with a "correct" methodology. There
will never be a memetic text outlining the rules of Tragedy. Nor does it
consider any one text more authentic than another. Like cultural
antropology it views things as relative and like literary criticism it
says "but that's just like so-and-so" or "you only believe that because
someone told you that". Only instead of saying it with derision, it says
it matter-of-factly.

2. Ideas are similar to what went before and that we learn what we do
from our media. That simple statement is at the core of many
disciplines. John Campbell and Marshall McLuhan were champions of that
statement. However, memetics gives us that "one" step further back to
see the lineage of ideas and the continuity of their transmission.

I proposed a while ago that there *is* a physical method for measuring
the spread of a meme. Just follow the money. I'm trying to train myself
right now to see memes as dollar signs. Dollar-shaped memes seem to
spread really quickly but have a limited shelf- life.

  Ken Pantheists        
  Lurch In Vault Web Services