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

Tim Rhodes (
Sun, 10 Aug 1997 23:01:27 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 8 Aug 1997, Brett Lane Robertson wrote:

> And, who (besides you) has added the additional requirement that somehow
> a meme requires EITHER "Building on existing structures" OR "trying to
> create new ones" (Prof. Tim below)?

Okay, Brett, maybe I wasn't clear. Let's just look at what I *did* say:

> Prof. Tim wrote:
> > Building on existing structures is much more effective than trying to
> > create new ones. (Welcome to the wonderful world of Post-Modern Art!)

When did I say anything about requirements? Did I claim it was at all
necessary for a meme to to do anything? Did I say anything above about
what what a meme "had to" be?

No. All I said was that it is ***effective*** to build on existing
structures. Not that a meme was "required" to that. Many memes don't and
are quite successful regardless.

But many (I'd guess, most) do. And thrive as a result. Post-Modern Art
and Architecture are good large scale examples. "Electronica"[1] is
another fabulous example from music. Retro-anything and nostalgia-kitsch
also build on what has come before. The same with fashion, jokes and
sit-coms. Why? Because it is *effective*.

*Effective,* but not "required".

-Prof. Tim

[1] On a personal note, I despise the name "electronica". True, we needed
a catch-all name for all the musical styles that are all currently
converging on the same point (ambient, dub, hip-hop, electronic,
experimental, P-funk, acid jazz, house, trip-hop, etc.), but "electronica"
?!? What a memeticly *boring* and un-invocative name!!! (Had to have been
coined by a critic) I'd hate to see a vital movement die because some
fool mis-named it! Whenever someone says "electronica" correct them with
the /real/ term (for those "in the know"):

"PsycheFunkaDelica" (it's more fun to say too!)