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Posted: 28 September 2007 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]
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[ Edited: 22 January 2008 08:39 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 01 October 2007 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think the article made a good point, but I thought the idea of memes had always been sort of a metaphor, and not a hard “theory” of cognitive science.

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Posted: 01 October 2007 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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is “the trouble with…” a meme?

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Posted: 01 October 2007 09:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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[ Edited: 19 October 2007 10:06 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 01 October 2007 11:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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truthaddict - 01 October 2007 10:03 AM

is “the trouble with…” a meme?

Is the idea of a meme,  a meme?

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Posted: 02 October 2007 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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[ Edited: 22 January 2008 08:19 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 02 October 2007 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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zarcus - 02 October 2007 06:12 AM


In a way, Yes.. That is the first recognizable problem, it defines itself.

Why is that a problem? We also make sentences about sentences. There are computer programs that generate computer programs. There is even science about science (history or sociology of science). Where is the problem?

Of course the idea of a meme is a meme. The idea of Religion is a meme too, as is science. The reason that the ‘science’ meme survives, is that there are a lot of people who like to have real understanding of the world. But if people do not like this anymore, science will die out.

The environment wherein ‘memes’ fight for survival is humans, who like all kind of different things, like truth, a meaningful life etc. It is not said that memes that survive now because of their correspondence with reality, because there might come a time that people would like to feel the comfort of some caring god, or whatever.

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Posted: 02 October 2007 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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what isnt a meme?

i think thats where the real problem lies. if the concept gets so lose that it is defined as everything, then we might as well call meme’s God.

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Posted: 02 October 2007 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I don’t have a problem with the idea of the analogy of memes to genes but a lot of people seem to enlarge upon the concept and call entire but somewhat vague concepts memes.

Say there is a gene for your eye color and a gene for your hair color but you are not a gene, you are the product of thousands of genes combined.

So if hell is a meme and the crucifixion is a meme that doesn’t make Christianity a meme.  The different versions of Christianity are different combinations of memes.  So how do you break down an idea to its exact minimum to be a meme.  The concept of hell may be to complicated to qualify as a meme.

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Posted: 02 October 2007 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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GdB - 02 October 2007 07:08 AM
zarcus - 02 October 2007 06:12 AM


In a way, Yes.. That is the first recognizable problem, it defines itself.

Why is that a problem? We also make sentences about sentences. There are computer programs that generate computer programs. There is even science about science (history or sociology of science). Where is the problem?

Of course the idea of a meme is a meme. The idea of Religion is a meme too, as is science. The reason that the ‘science’ meme survives, is that there are a lot of people who like to have real understanding of the world. But if people do not like this anymore, science will die out.

The environment wherein ‘memes’ fight for survival is humans, who like all kind of different things, like truth, a meaningful life etc. It is not said that memes that survive now because of their correspondence with reality, because there might come a time that people would like to feel the comfort of some caring god, or whatever.

GdB

I didn’t mean it quite so literaly. But, what is that makes you think that Religion is a “meme”? How is science a “meme”? What are you basing your thoughts on?

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Posted: 02 October 2007 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Oh, I see, you state; “the idea of Religion”, are you saying the “idea of science” also?

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Posted: 02 October 2007 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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What isn’t a meme? Hmm. I don’t think any idea people have is a meme. I think a meme is a set of ideas and behaviors shared by groups of people that has a tendancy to reproduce itself across generations and spread among groups. So if I have good luck at the casino when I’m carrying my Applebee’s matchbook and I decide it’s lucky and always carry it, that’s not a meme. But if I throw salt over my shoulder after I spill it because that’s what my parents did, and if most of you know what I’m talking about, then that’s probably a simple meme. Religion and science are much more coplex but some of the same principles may apply

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Posted: 02 October 2007 08:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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[ Edited: 19 October 2007 10:07 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 03 October 2007 02:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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zarcus - 02 October 2007 12:20 PM


I didn’t mean it quite so literaly. But, what is that makes you think that Religion is a “meme”? How is science a “meme”? What are you basing your thoughts on?

I did not mean it very exact neither. grin But I wanted to oppose just this idea: that the concept of a meme is not working, because it itself is a meme too.

In Blackmore’s use of these concepts, I should have said that science and religion are ‘memeplexes’, i.e. related memes that support the survival of others in the same ‘memeplex’. But of course ‘science’ and ‘religion’ are memes too (be aware of the quotes!). They are misused by pseudo sciences and certain sects.

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Posted: 03 October 2007 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Jean-François Lyotard used a similar meme concept at the dawn of postmodernism called narratives (meme) and metanarratives (memplexes). 

wikipedia -

metanarrative (sometimes master- or grand narrative) is an abstract idea that is supposed to be a comprehensive explanation of historical experience or knowledge. According to John Stephens it “is a global or totalizing cultural narrative schema which orders and explains knowledge and experience”.[1] The prefix meta means “beyond” and is here used to mean “about”, and a narrative is a story. Therefore, a metanarrative is a story about a story, encompassing and explaining other ‘little stories’ within totalizing schemas.

I like the concept of the meme because it takes this idea one step further.  Lyotard used this concept to explain things like religion and criticized them.  Meme theory looks at these narratives/memes indifferently and asserts that they evolve by natural selection similarly to Darwinian biological evolution through the processes of variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance.  Well maybe not inheritance, but close enough.

Clearly the meme concept has worked.  We all have a basic understanding of what it means on this forum.  The real question is how well will it propagate outside of religious or non-religious context?  The interesting things to observe with memes are their methods of reproduction.  What makes them successful in both short term & long term?

[quote author=“psikeyhackr” date=“1191360653”>Say there is a gene for your eye color and a gene for your hair color but you are not a gene, you are the product of thousands of genes combined.

We are mapping genes, but we really haven’t mapped memes.  It is interesting to decipher the minimum and maximum size of a meme and at what point it turns into a memeplex?  The problem I see with taking the metaphor this far is that there is no definitive indicator.  Throwing salt over your shoulder is a minor meme made popular in the movie Dumb & Dumber, but can you break that down into more simplified memes?  Technically isn’t the idea of throwing a meme?  It is just so common we over look its significance as a meme because it had more of an impact in our biological evolution than superstitious un-jinxes.

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Posted: 03 October 2007 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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psikeyhackr - 02 October 2007 10:30 AM

Say there is a gene for your eye color and a gene for your hair color but you are not a gene, you are the product of thousands of genes combined.

Exactly!  And your mind, the totality of your thought process, is a complex amalgam of thousands of individual memes, some clustering together, reinforcing one another, and some actually cancelling others out.  That’s what makes it such a good metaphor.  “Christianity” or “Hell” would be examples of super-memes maybe, or clusters of memes.

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