virus: Re: meme pairs

David Leeper (
Thu, 24 Oct 1996 18:50:58 -0500

Vicki Rosenzweig wrote:
> I suspect that, rather than memes being generated in pairs
> (a la virtual particles), at least some memes generate their
> opposing memes.

I like this train of thought, but do we really have _any_ idea how memes are generated?

> "Wealth," for example, is a relative term, and not only because
> all the money in the world wouldn't have bought an ancient Roman
> a dose of tetracycline. Once something becomes common, having it
> is no longer a sign of wealth, and lacking it may become a sign
> of poverty.

I] Everything is relative. The only way to describe A is Rel(A, B, C). The only way to
describe B is Rel(B, D, E), and on and on. Example: Rel(Suger, Crystal, White), Rel(Crystal,
Geometric, Matter).
II] Over time, most relationships change. Given I, say we have two things, 1 and 2. We also
have the memes Wealth (represnted as 4) and poverty (represented as -4) If 1 represents an
example of Wealth we describe it as 5, because it is both 1 and 4. If 2 represents an example
of Poverty we call it 2.-4, because it is both 2 and -4. If, over time, things change and 1
becomes an example of Poverty and 2 becomes an example of Wealth, we have 1.-4 and 6.
Throughout all of this, the Simple Numbers (1, 2, 4, and -4) remain the same, but their
relationships change (as represented by the Complex Numbers of 5, 6, 2.-4, and 1.-4). Yes,
this Cohesive Math, which is described at

> And sometimes the oppositions aren't very good: "justice"
> isn't really the opposite of "crime," for example, if only because
> justice also involves making decisions in cases where no crime
> has been committed--for example, which of two decent parents
> gets custody of a child if the parents can no longer live together?
> But by phrasing the opposition in that way, we can say we are
> "promoting justice," which is an active, positive thing and may
> be more appealing than "fighting crime."

Perhaps there's a difference between "words" and "memes"? The Greeks, for example, have seven
different words for the English word "Love". In English, seven different memes have a single
word. Does this resolve the apparent failure of oppositions?

David Leeper
Homo Deus