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#118812 - 01/04/04 05:49 PM Re: meme
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Better than your buns.


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#118813 - 01/04/04 06:40 PM Re: meme
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
when i first started posting here, there was a thread (tsuwm started i think) about favorite words.. meme one was on the list (i remember grok and parallex were mine for sure,) i like meme too, --i first heard it about 10 years ago --i knew it for sure in 1994--maybe a bit before that-- but i don't remember who posted it as favorite..

you could look up when i became a member-- and start looking about that time.. (i don't know if search will pull it up, it was that long ago.)

ideas can perculate-gernerate-spread- through the world so that 'the same thing' shows up at the same time in different places (like radio's-- Marconni is one name i associate with radio's, but the was another person, who came up with the same concept at all most the same time)

it sometimes happens with new technologies.. ideas are born, in several places, at the same time, and spread through a system faster than other information... they take on a life of there own!

_________________________
my other obsession

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#118814 - 01/04/04 06:58 PM Re: meme-ories...
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
well, that was a fun time-trip! it was in 2000 that meme came up, Helen. it is sure making the blogs rounds now...

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formerly known as etaoin...

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#118815 - 01/04/04 07:01 PM Re: meme-ories...
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
well, many saw it here first!

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my other obsession

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#118816 - 01/05/04 07:20 AM Re: meme
Faldage Online   sleepy
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
an anti-pun stance

A good pun should involve, at least tangentially, both* meanings of the word or words used. Seeing how many ways you can warp some theme into a totally unrelated topic doesn't work for me. I try to avoid these fests but sometimes they just get the better of me.

*Or, in a really good pun, three or more.


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#118817 - 01/05/04 11:23 AM Re: meme
wow Offline
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Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Gee - and retro ol' me has been calling it "the grapevine" all this time.


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#118818 - 01/05/04 11:39 AM Re: puns
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I miss TEd.


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#118819 - 01/05/04 11:46 PM Re: book recommendation!!
maahey Offline
addict

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
I'm wondering if there's some information about its use; when it started making the rounds

I can add a little to wwh's link, eta... I first read it in the same book, 'The Selfish Gene'. It was a path breaking book that came out in the seventies and has gone into innumerable editions and reprints since. A fascinating concept, amongst many, that he espoused in the book, was that of memes. It was a bird from NZ, Max, and its song (I forget thename) that first ignited this theory. Memes are meant to rhyme with gene and just like genes are the units of biological evolution/heredity, memes are the units of cultural evolution. (Language & Instinct over in miscellany come right in! ) Memes are ideas, catch phrases, songs, poetry, folklore, fashion; anything that is transimtted down the generations culturally, not by heredity and that itself evolves as well as spawns evolution. Think about it....an idea evolves over time; the same idea also changes the way we think!
.......Strong examples are religion, faith, and folklore.

Dawkins calls all life forms on earth, survival machines, and strongly argues the case for ruthless selfishness as the dominant attribute necessary for a successful gene. Primordial life was dominated by a molecule called the 'Replicator' - one that had the unique capacity for making copies of itself. Genes and DNA are their modern equivalent. In the primordial soup, there was a finite limit to how many replicators could be housed and to endure the intense competition for survival, different features aimed at increasing longevity and propagation were developed and the successful ones naturally went on to stay and replicate further. Successful replicators also needed to protect themselves from the physical onslaught of the environment and therefore started first by building walls of protein around themselves; they now had a nicely walled home, much like a hoarding ( Hi Bill!) and turned themselves into a composite unit called a survival machine. These early protective membranes, walls and coats steadily got bigger and more complex and slowly but surely morphed into body shapes of viruses, bacteria, amoebae, plankton, plants, animals and, yes! the human body too! This is where the lady in Quinion's site, comes in with her comment on the brain and memes....the brain is the survival machine of the memes!!

According to Dawkins, the three features that determine a successful gene/meme/replicator: longevity, fecundity and copying fidelity. For a gene or, in case of a meme, an ideology, fashion, thought, behaviour, song, etc., to be transmitted over generations, they should be able to survive, they should propagate/proliferate rapidly and they should be true copies or close. It is in the last trait, copying fidelity, that the meme theory and its similarity to genes comes a little unstuck. One has only to think of first hand information, second hand stories, hearsay, to understand the weakness of memes with copying. But, Dawkins explains that away by dividing both genes and memes into units, large and small, the essence and the interpretation. That is to say, that even if an idea has mutated in transmission, the essence of the idea that is the true copy, demonstrates copying fidelity in tranmission. It is only the interpretations that are not exact imitations of the original. The true meme is the essence and is transmitted rather faithfully; the interpretations are therefore mere distractions from the original.

Hope I didn't bore you guys; it just is a most fascinating subject and I have a problem with droning on about stuff like this, if given half a chance!



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#118820 - 01/06/04 06:04 AM Re: book recommendation!!
Faldage Online   sleepy
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
Gotta argue with the 'true copy' aspect of the above, at least in one aspect. The copies must be, and are, in genetics as well as memetics, untrue copies or there would be no change over time, and we can all see that there is change over time. The offspring that improve in their changes will outperform those that stay the same or become worse. The mechanisms for change might be different in genetics and in memetics and may proceed at different rates but both must incorporate change.


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#118821 - 01/06/04 09:15 AM Re: book recommendation!!
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Maahey, what an amazing mind you have! [deep bow of admiration] Thank you.


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