Re: virus: Meme vs concept

Tom Loeber (
Tue, 14 May 1996 02:04:13 -0700 (PDT)

Bill Bodby wrote:
>Why the rag on meme and this discussion list? I personally don't take the
>Church of Virus that seriously, at least to consider it as a religion, I
>hate religion, rather I'm more interested in the discussions, there is no
>one in this group that's ruling on validity to my knowledge.
I'm human and like all humans, I have the capacity to transcend the mundane,
BUT I have my limits. I'm not powerful enough to make any "ruling"
(enforced judgement?) on validity. The power may never be mine to exercise.
If a sufficient number of people do find something of "validity" and virtual
necessity for their lives, then the power to act on their beliefs may be
>Regarding memes I prefer the word "meme" since it implies both memory and
>gene, which is what it is meant to do. I don't quite see how concept
>fulfills this criteria. They may indeed both be very similar or even the
>same thing depending upon your definition, however, the "concept" of meme is
>meant to help us think about seemingly abstract non-materialistic concepts,
>ideas, and ultimately language, as material. It must be considered within
>the context of cognitive science. It's always been the case that when new
>theories emerge so also do terminologies, the question is do they work, do
>they help elucidate and understand the theory. I would say that "meme" is
>very useful in stimulating new thinking about ideas and language if nothing

First, what new theories?

Genetic memory has been postulated and sought without any real evidence to
it's existence except, of course, the generation of phenotype and genotype,
as far as I know. In fact, memory as we conventionally use the term seems
to be distributed rather than located in any specific molecular sites. I do
agree that, "meme" is serving to stimulate illucidation of my own
understanding right here and now. After all, trial and error is one of the
major ways to learn.