Re: virus: Will the real meme please stand up.

Eric Boyd (
Thu, 07 Aug 1997 20:38:58 -0500

Brett Lane Robertson wrote:

> Just wanted to clarify these three points: 1. Yes Tim, those ideas ARE
> "something". 2. No, content doesn't get passed along with a meme. 3. The
> meme is not just a virus of the mind (in order to spread the meme meme, it
> must be generalizable outside of mind...must not be content specific).

Hmmm. "must be generalizable outside of mind"...

that is, able to be expressed *as* content (on, say, a peice of paper),
so that it can actually be *transmitted* to another mind. We can talk
all day long about "form and function", but inevidebly, the "meme" must
be reducable to some kind of *language* (be it words, pictures, etc.).
Otherwise, it cannot spread.

My question is this: since the meme *must* transfer as content, how are
we to recgonize and differentiate it from other content "somethings"
(like the Nike deal)? Or is the Nike deal possibly a real meme? (ie.
there is form and function, and we are just unaware of it)