Furthest Right

Your world is made of ideas Passed on By Others

This article presents an interesting point: memes spread for themselves, not because they are true or relevant.

The spread results more from the construction of a meme — like a virus — than its relevance to life itself.

Finally, the meme-centered criteria represent selection on the level of the meme itself. They depend only on the internal structure of the meme, not on its “fit” to external selectors, such as subjects, objects, or groups. These criteria will typically select for “selfish” (cf. Heylighen, 1992) or “parasitic” (cf. Cullen, 1998) memes, whose only goal is to spread themselves, “infecting” a maximum of hosts without regard for their hosts’ well-being. This does not imply that the same meme cannot satisfy both selfish and non-selfish criteria. Religions often have this mixture of parasitic and beneficial traits (cf. Cullen, 1998)

Self-justification, the degree to which the components of a meme mutually support each other, will facilitate understanding and acceptance. Self-reinforcement, the degree to which the meme stimulates its host to rehearse itself, e.g. by repetition, meditation, prayer, etc., will strengthen retention. Intolerance, the degree to which a meme excludes rival memes from being assimilated or retained, will also help the meme to retain a stable position in memory. Proselytism, the degree to which the meme urges its host to maximally spread the meme to other hosts, will increase the rates of expression and transmission.

Meme Selection Criteria


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