virus: Re: is the term "meme" necessary?
Wed, 15 May 1996 15:58:39 -0400

In following this string, I have noticed that much of it has dealt with
the equation of memetics with manipulation. It seems to me, however, that by
the way that this equivalence has replicated, it is itself a meme -- and
therefore manipulation and memetics cannot be equivalent. If we go back to
the fundamental basis of what memetics is, we see that it is the study of the
replication of concepts. The decision of what to call this study is a meme
like any other, since it involves replication (i.e., toward a majority or
consensus), but that does not change the esseence of what memetics _is_.
What we seem to be facing in this string is a contest between a new
field of investigation (memetics) and an attempt to define it in terms of
already current nomenclature (manipulation). This is like trying to define
quantum mechanics in terms of Newtonian physics.
I think that an issue that needs to be dealt with here is whether
manipulation is memetics or whether it is an application of memetics. As
evidence, I think that propaganda and psychological warfare suggest the
latter view to be more accurate.