Re: virus: definitions of "meme"

Brett Lane Robertson (
Sun, 14 Sep 1997 17:17:11 -0500


So which one of these did you come up with? (or are you saying that once a
perliminary sketch for a building is completed the house is completed)?


At 02:27 PM 9/14/97 -0700, you wrote:
>On Sat, 13 Sep 1997, Brett Lane Robertson wrote:
>> The term meme has not been definied to my satisfaction on this list. I have
>[snipped: Brett's description of meme behaviour, which strikes me, insofar
>as I understand it, as a theory about meme evolution rather than a
>definition of the term]
>> If Eva (or anyone) can present a better definition of memes, then--by
>> means--please do!
>>From Dawkins, the originator of the word "meme":
>a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation....Examples of
>memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making
>pots of or building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the
>gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperm or eggs, so memes
>propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a
>process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. If a
>scientist hears, or reads about, a good idea, he passes it on to his
>colleagues and students. He mentions it in his articles and his lectures.
>If the idea catches on, it can be said to propagate itself, spreading from
>brain to brain. [_The Selfish Gene_, 1976, p. 206]
>and from Richard Brodie:
>A meme is a unit of information in a mind whose existence influences
>events such that more copies of itself get created in other minds.
>[_Virus of the Mind_, 1996, p. 32]
>getting back to basics

Rabble Sonnet Retort
Goto, n.:
A programming tool that exists to allow structured
programmers to complain about unstructured programmers.

Ray Simard