Genetic Modifed Food Ipo

Genetic modifed food ipo

This is an archive of past discussions.

Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.

US Pronunciation

Is this word really pronounced to rhyme with "gem" in the US?

I've never heard the word before, so I wouldn't know.--Tea and crumpets 00:19, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I've never heard it pronounced like that. Looks like it was added as a hoax on 08:26, 3 April 2007 by someone with the IP address That same IP added the same alternative pronunciation to Wiktionary on 08:02, 3 April 2007. When the "gem" line was removed from the Wikipedia page on 08:39, 13 April 2007, that same IP address replaced it, citing what would appear to be their own edit of the Wiktionary entry!

So, until we can get an independent cite, it doesn't belong there.Tyrrell McAllister 22:16, 10 May 2007 (UTC)


I pronounce it to rhyme with "gem". It's been a long time. I don't know where I first heard it.

It's pronounced mee-mee. Ernestrome 13:25, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm thoroughly American, and I've only heard it pronounced meem, to rhyme with 'seem'.

- Someone

Thoroughly Australian, and also only ever heard it pronounced to rhyme with 'seem'. Every dictionary searched by lists the pronunciation as being a single syllable. Furthermore the first entry gives the IPA pronunciation /mim/. - Someone else

The entry says that it was meant to rhyme with "gene" -- so \meem\ (like seem) seems to be the correct pronunciation.

Jim Sowers

Repin Norview to the end

Why is this in the article? This is listed as a meme phrase, but an internet search shows no hits. 18:39, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Criticism section

The entire criticism section looks as if someone just tossed it of the top of their head.

It consists of straw men and other misconceptions, as well as some criticisms that are downright incoherent! ('It just doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy' should not count as a valid criticism to be addressed!)

In any case I know too little about the current opinion of Memetics to create a valid criticism section from scratch, although the facts that a) at best it is a proto-science, and b) it has attracted flak from some of the vocal religious would be the logical starting point.

As it is a proto-science, criticism from other scientific disciplines can be regarded as 'not-invented-here' until such time as it *does* become a science or is entirely discredited.

Memetics is not a protoscience. It is a hybrid field of sociology and cybernetics.--Scorpion451 17:28, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Too Long and lacks coherent criticism section

This article is too long, and could be broken up into seperate sections.

One on "memes", one on "memetics" etc. There is also way too much information relating to culture, which could be placed in a "cultural memes" section.

I read the article wanting to understand the theory of memes, but was instead presented with what seemed like a non-NPOV article that merely espoused examples of memes, without going into the essence of what a meme is. Under current definitions almost anything could be a meme inluding the theory of meme's itself, which would make it completely nonsensical and also a tautology or even fatal theory.

What about Thomas Kuhn's and Paul Feyeraband's work that shows that scientific knowledge, itself, is dependent on the culture of groups of scientists rather than on adherence to a specific, definable method. Thus whatever paradigm that is the dominant zeitgeist in science (for example genetics), tends to use language of that discipline to explain away phenomena outside of that discipline.

Where the article does say there is criticism it does not list the actual criticism but tends to ignore it and skim over it. In the mean time, someone should clean up the article removing redundant parts, perhaps breaking it up.

I will try working on providing a comprehensive criticisms section, using critical theories from philosophy, science, sociology of ideas and language.

Excellently put, but who are you? Dieter Simon 18:16, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, why don't you have a go. You sound like the person who could do just what you said the article needs. So, we invite you to do what you said should be done. Dieter Simon 23:29, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm in the process of working on a massive rewrite of this article, but it will take some time, I'm currently reading the Journal of Memetics, which is the only scientific journal dedicated to the subject that i know.

I am very interested in this theory and it's relation to social organization, cultural evolution, and biological evolution(that is darwinian reasoning for the evolution of beneficial memes, if such reasoning exists.) Of course wikipedia is not the place for original research, but these things are covered comprehensively in this journal so far, as well as various Dawkins essays and books.

Solidusspriggan 00:24, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I'll help on the "criticisms" part. This article is biaised, the concept of meme is far from being accepted in the scientific community, its main mean of development (the Journal of Memetics), is dead, and the whole concept, while extremely popular, was unable to provide nontrivial predictions.

I see 3 main problems with memetics; the definition of meme, the mechanics of memetics and the absence of nontrivial predictions based on memetics (one of the most important thing in science). I'll come back with some references on those criticisms. PhDP 20:33, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

"Under current definitions almost anything could be a meme inluding the theory of meme's itself" - All theories are memes.
"which would make it completely nonsensical" - Please explain how this follows?Kernow 02:15, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps "self-contradictory" would be better than "nonsensical".

For meme extremists like Blackmore, the meme is neutral, so not good or bad, true or false, or even useful. And they believe that all of culture and all theories consist of memes. But if the idea of the meme is itself a meme, then it follows that it is not good, true or useful.

Fine, but meme extremists believe the opposite, they believe that the idea of the meme itself is good and true and useful. Hence the contradiction. If the claim that all of culture consists of memes is dropped, this difficulty vanishes.Brymor 17:00 16 April 2006 (UTC)

This is a misunderstanding of Blackmore's position.

She's just saying that there is nothing inherently good, bad, or useful about something being a meme. That doesn't mean that there are not good memes, bad memes and useful memes; only that you can't determine whether they are good bad or useful by simply determining if they are memes.

So there is nothing at all self-contradictory about asserting that the "meme" meme is both good and useful. Leeborkman 06:01, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Criticism of Meme Theory

There is much well founded criticism of Memes out there.


Darwinizing Culture : The Status of Memetics as a Science


I have amazon extracts from the relevant chapters and am attempting to put some sort of critique together.

I rather suspect that this may be somewhat controversial, does anyone suggest a correct way forward? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ChurchOfTheOtherGods (talk • contribs) 10:47, 25 April 2006 (UTC2)

Thanks to ChurchOfTheOtherGods for above references - v good:

From Adam Kuper - Dawkins using terms loosely

If memes are the answer, what is the question? The question that memes are designed to address evidently concerns culture, but culture is itself a notoriously question-begging notion.

And culture is supposed to provide the answers to another very big question, which is in what way human beings may be unique. "Most of what is unusual about man can be summed up in one word: culture", Dawkins wrote, continuing, with a perhaps disingenuous insouciance, "I use the word not in its snobbish sense, but as a scientist uses it" (Dawkins 1989: 189). Unfortunately, he does not specify how a scientist uses the word, and little wonder.

In truth, there is no single, unsnobbish, scientific conception of culture.

and using dodgy references

Dawkins even suggests that memes drive suicide epidemics, arguing that "a suicidal meme can spread, as when a dramatic and well-publicised martydom inspires others to die for a deeply loved cause" (Dawkins 1982: 111). In support, he cites Gore Vidal, 1955. This turns out to be an early novel by the American writer, about a messianic cult.

Dawkins would surely be apoplectic if a social scientist were to cite Hitchcock's film The Birds to make a point about ornithology. 10:57, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Memes are not similar to Darwinism in the way that stronger genes out survive weaker ones. It is more of a constant influence of the ideas being transmitted. The strength of the lines of communication or amount of communication is what influences memes to survive.

Darwinism reflects on how genes are passed on through offspring. Memes are passed from one individual to the next, not necessarily offspring genetically. It is only passed onto offspring by communication not through heredity. For example, a child raised by white supremists have the meme of racism passed on through communication not heredity.

The child grows up and now shares the similar views or weltanschauungs. More times than not there is an exterior factor that influences the transmittal of memes. I don't think Dawkins was making a correlation to memes in the way of Darwinian genes being passed on through heredity as it is being suggested.

This is a common misconception of the meme theory. Have you read these books? What are the disputes that they are arguing? It appears the main point from the amazon link states that the only thing in dispute is the fact that memes spread themselve and not the entire meme theory.

The way memes spread themeselves is a fraction of the meme theory and it does need to be explored further. But this doesn't disprove the entire theory.--Gnosis 14:31, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

The Biologist Dawkins does not understand religion and criticises his own prejudices about it. However, it has provided him with a concept the "meme" that has some use. Unfortunately he does not discriminate between various types. He is also unaware of the existence of a much better concept, namely the "Psychon".

These are socio-psychological units, not like genes in Biology, but more like bacteria or viruses. Three types have distinguished, named cultons, theons and satons according to their different source and function. Cultons as the name suggests are cultural ideas and behaviour patterns. Theons refer to units of real experience and satons refer to delusional ideas that cause much social disorder and outbreaks of social hysterics.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Altway (talk • contribs) 04:57, December 19, 2006

Lack of philosophical appeal

This entire section is based on a misunderstanding of the term "gene".

Whoever wrote this is referring to a microbiologist's gene (i.e.

GMO Foods? How To Tell, Truth About Genetically Modified Foods & Label GMO Psychetruth Nutrition

a cistron, a visible region of DNA) whereas the analogy is to an evolutionary biologist's gene (i.e an abstract replicatory unit of information).

The genes that Dawkins discusses are not "a one-dimensional series" nor can they be viewed "through a microscope". I suggest replacing this section with a section discussing the very common confusion over what a gene is in the evolutionary sense.

Kernow 18:39, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

A gene as an "abstract replicatory unit of information" is, in fact, what this section concerns, they are one dimensional, in the sense that they are all the same thing: "genes." they are visible through a microscope since genes are understood as being encoded in the DNA.
--Lucaas 18:53, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't really understand your point but...genes "are visible through a microscope since genes are understood as being encoded in the DNA".

In this sense memes are visible as they are understood as being encoded in the brain. An evolutionary biologist's gene is to DNA what a meme is to the brain. Kernow 19:03, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure how one could say "memes are encoded in the brain", is Walt Whitman's poetry encoded in the brain?

are ethics encoded in the brain? are wars encoded in the brain? You can answer yes, it is ok, you can still be ethical; or can you? So little is know of the brain it would be presumptious to assume that memeticists assume that it's all "encoded in the brain." Have you never heard of books or "encoding in books." When is the last time you used a microscope to read a book?

--Lucaas 01:18, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I think this aspect of the article needs to come way earlier in the discussion and be made a lot more clear.

The difference between an evolutionary biologist's notion of gene and a gene as a cistron (thanks for teaching me the technical term) is far from obvious, even for those of us interested in natural sciences. Is the evolutionary biologist's gene just the abstraction over the concrete instantiations in the individual DNA cistrons?

In this respect it is also unclear to me whether the people who write about memes are keeping that distinction clean. Take Kate Distin, who writes about memetic DNA and cultural DNA; is she now being appropriate with respect to the evolutionary biology notion or has she crossed the line back into the cistron-land of the analogy?

-- 15:37, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Alleged lack of rigor

This section is also flawed and should probably be deleted:

"Memetics, by contrast, has no such model for the storage and transmission of memes." - Storage is in the brain and transmission is by language.
"Memeticists typically assume that memetic 'phenotypes' equate with memetic 'genotypes'" - This is not true.

The equivalent of 'genotype' (as with genes) is where the information is stored, i.e. in the brain. The equivalent of 'phenotype' (as with genes) is how this information interacts with its environment, i.e.

the behaviour this meme causes.

"This assumption seems like a serious — and to critics, fatal — weakness in memetics relative to its genetic model." - It would be if such an assumption existed. Kernow 19:00, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Awkward Referencing Style

I find the method used to cite references in the Meme page unhelpful and unscholarly.

The text does not consistently number the references.
When the text does give numbers to references, they do not correspond to those in the Reference section.
In the References section, the referencer has given numbers to the references out of sequence from their citation in the text.

For only one example, reference #s 1 & 2 indicate works by Henson, which follow reference #3 (work by Dawkins), whereas the text cites the work by Dawkins first.

Seems like any contributor can use any one of a number of referencing methods.

Those ‘problems’ give the text a non-scholarly look.

Should we undertake to rework the referencing method?

TonySebas 23:53, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, no coherent citation styles are used at all.

The introduction alone is thick with assertions of varying verifiability. There's too much even to tag as needing verification.

How much editing can be tolerated at once?

This thing needs bulk reorganization and citation, and I'm willing to take a crack at it, but not if it's going to be instantly reverted on the grounds of some thin violation of wikipedia's arbitrary protocols.

Thornrag 23:19, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Memes & non-human animals

Has any thought been put towards the transmission of memes from, to and between non-human animals.

Much of our technology was probably inspired by animals e.g. Aeroplanes from birds, but most of this information is a physical characteristic of the animal rather than a mental construct. However, when one animal learns a behavioural response from another, this is surely a form of memetic transmission.

It is also likely that a number of human memes (not necessarily still 'alive' today) were aquired from watching the learned behaviour of an animal.

Kernow 01:59, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Nope. Memetics encompasses "copy the instructions" not "copy the process".

9 Reasons so many switch to a quip electric toothbrush.

A chimp can show another how to fish for termites, but he cannot write instructions for it, or share it without doing it.

Also, in the future please leave your posts at the bottom of the page, not at the top. thanks - KillerChihuahua?!? 02:08, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
"The term "meme", refers to any piece of information transferable from one mind to another. Examples might include thoughts, ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods." It does not mention anything about instructions here.

Although I do not have my copy of The Selfish Gene to hand, I was under the impression that memes referred to any imitation of behaviour, of which instructional/linguistic information represents only a small part. However, in case you are right, I will temporarily coin the new term "non-instructional meme" to refer to this replicatory information.

Mimicking another animals behaviour is obviously replicatory, there is a chance of mutation, and these mutations can lead to differential survival of the behavioural process. Therefore we would expect these non-instructional memes to have evolutionary properties. Kernow 13:05, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Strongly advise you do not "coin the term" unless you are planning on publishing a paper outside of Wikipedia, due to the WP:NOR policy.

KillerChihuahua?!? 13:53, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I am planning on publishing a paper outside of Wikipedia. I believe non-instructional memes are a type of meme rather than a distinctly different evolutionary process. However, the usage of this term may be useful for explanaition to those who misunderstand what the term meme actually includes.

Kernow 15:45, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Also, I would advise that you read Wikipedia policies before referring to them, it helps prevent later embarrassment.

"Like most Wikipedia policies, No original research applies to articles, not to talk pages or project pages" - WP:NORKernow 15:51, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I have read the policies, and am well aware of what they state. You posted you were going to "coin a phrase" on a Wikipedia article talk page, which is for discussion of how to improve the article. As you did not state this was a tangential comment concerning activities elsewhere, naturally I assumed you were using this page for its intended purpose.

As I am now aware you were not, I am unconcerned about your coined phrase. KillerChihuahua?!? 16:45, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Well it's nice to know about your lack of concern. Does anyone who knows what a meme is have any comments on my original post?Kernow 02:05, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
"The term meme refers to any piece of information transferable from one mind to another." - How does written information, or similar information stored in other ways, relate to this?

If I write down an idea, does it go from being a meme (in my mind) to not being a meme (on paper) until someone else has read it? This is subtley different from direct transmission in that mutation can occur between both my mind and the paper, and between the paper and the minds of whoever reads it.Kernow 02:24, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

(reduce) This page is for discussion relevent to improving the article "Meme" not for discussion about memes.

Please find a forum for this. KillerChihuahua?!? 02:35, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Oh - and the answer is a qualified yes. KillerChihuahua?!? 02:41, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
If memes can exist within animals or other non-human storage systems then surely this is relevant to the article.Kernow 16:17, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Not unless you can find a source per WP:V, WP:RS, and WP:CITE, as anything else would violate WP:NOR.

KillerChihuahua?!? 17:46, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

The source would be whatever the source is for the first sentence of this article, "The term meme refers to any piece of information transferable from one mind to another".

Kernow 17:21, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

In reference to your comment earlier about instructional memes not applying to animals, does not the honey bee's waggle dance instruct other members of the colony as to how to find food?

Genetic modifed food ipo

Kernow 14:18, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Debate moved from "to do" box

I moved it out. Too cluttered, not the place for ongoing discussion. What follows was unsigned discussion.Kaisershatner 15:18, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I'll find a better place for this later, OK?

Memetics was/is 'controversial' only because it hit the wall of the existing meme(plexe)s. It hit the resistance of all the other memetic constructs that were just doing what they do -- replicating. There's nothing inherently controversial in memetics -- on the contrary, it is nothing but a re-application of an old and rather widely recognized philosophical approach that has been found to work very well in explaining, and even predicting, natural process, indeed life itself.

I don't see the point of explainging 'why it looks like pseudo-science to many', because there's nothing pseudo about the idea of the meme nor the science of memetics itself.

Yes, it is in it's infancy (although I'd rather say it's sprouting), and there should be some silly directions tried and a wasted resource or few -- that's how science works -- personally, I wonder why someone has spent the time on the ethymology of the word 'meme' when Dawkins very clearly tells us why and where he takes the word from and what he means with it ...

but my skepticism, nor yours, doesn't make memetics pseudo, nor controversial.

I found this article in all its musing-ness quite fantastic! A big thank you and lots of respect for whomever contributed this. There were some places that resonated a bit ill with how I perceive / use the idea of memes, and I hope to come back and give my 2 cents.

Highly undervalued infrastructore cryptocurrencies for now

Oh, I don't think it's 100% fair to attribute Dawkins but not Blackmore.

TODO: Sharpen intro

The article throws a ton of flood on a first time reader's head.

It seems to me that most quit without any idea of what meme is. Several people I sent link didn't understand it.

I think - the introductionary part should be made as short and sharp as possible, to give new reader a solid understanding in the mimimum possible words.

--Neonil 16:17, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It would be cool if you could place your revision ideas here in talk first and get a consensus before changing the article. It's just that the opener text is usually the most sensitive part of the article. — Stevie is the man!Talk | Work 20:33, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I added it, in somehow raw form, in hope that somebody will edit it soon...

Stevietheman, do you have a free minute? :)

I experience that people DO NOT UNDERSTAND meme concept and memetics from the article in the form as it is. I suppose people lose understending and then their interset somewhere very close to the start of the article. I hope we will solve it in some evolutionary way.......... Neonil 23:10, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm too tired to copyedit it this evening, but I'd like to suggest another section name: "In a nutshell".

I think that's what you're driving at. At any rate, I may be able to take a look at it tomorrow if nobody else beats me to it. Cheers. — Stevie is the man!Talk | Work 02:53, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I have a slight doubt...

This would make this chapter seem not serious, while the goal is opposite. However it is up to you to change it in any way you think it seems proper, also its content would give an idea. Currently I changed the name to "Basic Introduction".

But I hope it will experience successful mutations soon. :) Thanks! --Neonil 21:00, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The articles don't have to be deadly serious you know- touches of whimsy are allowed; see Invisible Pink Unicorn.

--maru 21:14, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Please make the intro short and sweet. it scrambled my brain, i stopped reading, and i still don't know what the hell a meme is. I'm either stupid or this article sucks. My experience in Wikipedia tells me both are good possibilities.

thanks Muchosucko 07:30, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Please, Muchosucko, tell us more!!!

I believe I understand the memetics, but.... I believe I DO NOT understand people who do not understand it. :( You may help us understand what you really read in our article. :) Neonil 01:51, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure the recent change is correct. In specific, I could swear that Dawkins was responsible for coining the term "meme". Where would we look to find authoritative confirmation of this?

Alienus 16:12, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Here's a link that says Dawkins coined it, but I'm not sure if it's sufficiently authoritative: 16:14, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

And another: 16:16, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

I find the intro less than clear. To be frank, the whole article reminds me of Christian propaganda (begging the question of its own truth and authority when it should be arguing for that authority, for instance), which is very ironic considering that Dawkins is the father of memetics.

But in the intro, could someone perhaps add something about the distinctive purpose of memetics? What are the advantages of using memetics rather than traditional tools of cultural anthropology, for example? At the moment the article makes it sound like "meme" is just more trendy, useless jargon. Chris64.131.157.221 20:16, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I've largely rewritten the intro and hope people will agree it reads more clearly now and gives a better idea of what memes are.WadeLondon 14:41, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I have left a suggestion lower on this talk page and would appreciate feedback.

KillerChihuahua?!? 00:06, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I feel like the introduction is still very vague. From what I have previously understood about memes, they are transfered though cultural interactions and are equivilent to the transmission vehicles.

I may be wrong about that, but the intro still leaves it unclear.


Let's not be overly enthusiastic here. It's not even certain that memetics is an accurate theory, or that it's even useful (if it is), or just extra terminology. Ephilosopher link --Maprovonsha172 14:31, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

(Later note: This appears to be the working Ephilosopher link, and it is hardly a damning series of arguments like Maprovonsha172 implies elsewhere.

--maru 21:14, 11 May 2005 (UTC))

By messing up your personal pages, and sigs, and posting the same anti-memetics message three times to different talk pages, you are not making friends, Maprovonsha.

--maru 14:51, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

What's that supposed to mean? I'm just trying to make sure these pages live up to their claim to objectivity. I provided a link that shows that memetics is not a sure thing; as I said, it's yet to be seen whether memetics is a proto-science or a pseudo-science.

There just isn't any telling. Meanwhile, if we use memetics terminology liberally throughout articles not directly relating to memetics we are underhandedly endorsing what may very well be a pseudo-science, or useless at best. I imagine memetic terminology will become what postmodern terminology has been for a while now-something someone can use to appear smart. If you have a problem with any of that, you say where.

Gene Technology

Don't tell me I'm "not making friends," that isn't constructive to say the least and could be (mis)interpreted as a threat. --Maprovonsha172 23:30, 6 May 2005 (UTC)~

One possible way to test memetics is to see if it can make predictions that no other theory makes, then test them - if they are falsified then memetics needs modification. If they stand up to testing for a while, then they may be a protoscience.

At the moment, the whole memes thing just seems to be rhetoric to me. Autarch 11:45, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

This is a common error, to suppose that memetics or any evolutionary disciplines are prescriptive rather than descriptive.

Memetics cannot predict. But afterwards it may shed light on how some nuggets of culture came to be transmitted and transformed. This is a field in the history of ideas: one cannot analyse the Renaissance in ways that will predict a renaissance. --Wetman 18:28, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually, it does make predictions. It predicts that certain ideas will spread better if they have attributes known to be adaptative.

There's a book called "Thought Contagion" that goes quite a bit in this direction. Alienus 19:32, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I noticed that you blanked a good portion of your Talk page, completely eliminating RickK's comments.

That isn't the usual practice; normally we just move an overfull talk page to an 'Archive' page, and cut and paste as necessary- see Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page. I'm sure that was just because you are fairly new, and that it was not an attempt to hide some things, like more cynical and suspicious people might think.

As far as memetic terminology goes, that terminology is very widely accepted as useful for thinking about many behaivours- if it describes what is happening well, and provides insight, it is probably valid.

Note also no-one appears to be providing support for your position.

And you may imagine what you like.
Very well- I shall tell you my problem. First, you appear to have had a spat with RickK. RickK is a good user, which casts some doubt on your integrity. Second, you write some articles which have since been deleted or converted into redirects.

Genetic modifed food ipo

This in and of itself is not bad, is a learning experience, but not positive either. Also, you seem to have never heard of edit summaries. Bad wikiquette. Another thing: you blank part of your Talk page dealing with serious issues, with no summary, no archiving, no nothing. Not bad in and of itself, again, but definitely not good. Finally, you come to certain pages, and argue against them, and remove good information.

That's bad. That is pratically trolling. I am hoping you are not a troll, but are merely inexperienced, and argumentative. Prove me right.

And your misinterpreting is not my problem; my meaning was clear.

May I constructively suggest a reading of the FAQs? --maru 01:28, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

I'll admit your hopes, then. I may have bad wikiquette but that doesn't figure into the discussion on memetics. I could have bad wikiquette, no integrity, no experience, and absolutely nothing going for me except for the fact that I'm right! All that is an argumentum ad hominem, taking people's attention away from the issue because you can't defend your pro-memetics position otherwise---and I'm not anti-memetics.

But why are you defending posting memetic terminology all throughout theoretically objective arcticles which aren't directly concerned with memetics while memetics is still a controversial subject? Whether or not anyone wants to go to bat with me and admit that it still is controversial, again, is irrelevant. I don't suppose you even checked out the link I provided. If you had, you would know there is much reputable resistance to memetics and memetic terminology, believe it or not Meme Theory's accuracy and usefullness is still being debated.

But, by using memetic terminology in 'objective' articles not directly related to memetics is clearly a tacit endorsement of the theory. --Maprovonsha172 14:30, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

We live in the real world, Map.

'Ad hominem attacks' are entirely valid data with which to adjust the strengths of our beliefs and probabilities- we aren't dealing with classical logic or syllogisms. Ex. antiglobal warming proponents have a much weaker case since it has been revealed that many of them are not exactly unbiased and uninterested parties, to say the least. Is that data ad hominem? Does it directly refute the anti-global warming case's data? No- but it is very relevant; that is how ad hominem attacks are useful.

And you certainly are not 'anti-memetics'- you have proven that time and again in your edits and responses (or lack thereof.) You'll notice I have checked out your provided links- most of'em didn't work, and the one that did is hardly an authority or source of good anti-memetics arguments; and where exactly are you getting 'reputable resistence' from?

As far as terminology goes, I shall state again, using it is not an endorsement of memetics- it is an endorsement of people's use of memetics terminology. --maru 21:26, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

An ad hominem attack is not 'data' but a form of argument, usually fallacious.

The example you cite is an example of a circumstantial ad hominem, which can be valid - in this case it is - but not always.

Autarch 11:42, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

There are many articles in the Wikipedia with disputes like this. They are usually resolved by noting in the article (using sources) that there are people of significance who are skeptical of memetics and its treatment as a science (of course, this would need to be balanced with its proponents). However, adding this information doesn't give one license to rip out the other material on memetics, given that it's an NPOV, accurate description.

There's grammatical ways to copyedit material that is in dispute without removing it entirely. — Stevie is the man!Talk | Work 16:16, May 7, 2005 (UTC)

Okay, but don't you see my point that it may very well contradict the NPOV policy?

By using memetic terminology in an article we are tacitly endorsing memetics, because it is supposed to be an objective article and inherent in the wording would be a affirmation of the theory. You realize memetics is controversial, so you should be able to see why using their terms in articles not in any way related to memetics is inadvertently taking sides on a controversial issue. By the way, very little of what is to be said using memetic terminology couldn't be said another way, therefore it's gratuitous at best, and an underhanded affirmation of a pseudo-science at worst.

--Maprovonsha172 17:51, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Now you are just being disingenuous- in what ways can you discuss ideas as entities subject to evolutionary forces, with behaivour analogous to that of 'selfish genes', which still has the explanatory power of memetic terminology?

--maru 21:26, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

So, do we also have a problem with using ID terminology in an Intelligent design article and Christian terminology in a Christianity article? On top of that, "intelligent design" is very controversial.

Are we to keep controversial ideas out of the Wikipedia? The Wikipedia affirms ideas that exist to a big extent in the wilds of human thought, whether they are scientific or pseudo-scientific. — Stevie is the man!Talk | Work 18:03, May 7, 2005 (UTC)

That's not what I'm suggesting at all.

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I only said that we shouldn't use memetic terminology in articles NOT pertaining directly to memetics or meme theory. But using it elseware is affirming its validity, which is why we wouldn't file intelligent design under science, let's say.

But really, the analogy doesn't work because the loaded wording of memetics is what I'm getting at. --Maprovonsha172 18:52, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

"Now you are just being disingenuous- in what ways can you discuss ideas as entities subject to evolutionary forces, with behaivour analogous to that of 'selfish genes', which still has the explanatory power of memetic terminology?

--maru 21:26, 11 May 2005 (UTC)" -- By explicitly describing the evolutionary activity that occured and/or is occuring. It took me a while (reading bottom to top), but I understand what Maprovonsha172 is talking about.

The point he's making is that in articles not explicitly about memetics, memetic terminology not (yet) be used. If you want to describe the evolution through time of a specific thing an article is about, you do a simple historical description.

Why would you use evolutionary terminology in an article on killer whales (for instance)? You wouldn't, though you could use it in another article on the evolution of killer whales (though this would probably be an article on the evolution of the killer whale genus, Cetaceans, the animal kingdom or life in general).

Navigation menu

Break out a new page and link to the new page if you really want to talk about memetic evolution of a specific term, movement, etc.... 19:42, 19 September 2005 (UTC)


I've talked to many people who consider 'meme' an interesting metaphor, and many on Wikipedia have their own definition of meme (which could usually be substituted with the word fad), but meme theory as I have read makes clear one basic premise of all memetics: namely, that memes are 'units of imitation'(verbal, visual, etc.) which REPLICATE THEMSELVES.

I tried to wrap around this concept of self-replication, and in Susan Blackmore's book The Meme Machine I found their theoretical justification.

Towards of the end of her book she presents her theory of the Selfplex. It seems only to make sense that there would be such things as 'memes', self-replicating units of imitation, if the Selfplex theory is true. Without it 'meme' is a metaphor, or substitute word for fad, or, quite possibly, an altogether unnecessary and pseudo-scientific neologism.

I know of no other explanation for memetic's insistence on 'self-replication' other than the theory of the Selfplex, in which Blackmore argues that the brain is the result of the coevolution of memes and genes.

She claims that the concept of the self, as we know it, is itself a collection of memes, which has evolved in order to protect and increase susceptibility to other memes. This would mean that there is no you or me, that I am a person but not an 'I'. I would still be a person, meaning that I am a homo sapien sitting here typing this, but not an 'I', an innate persona or self that is Matthew, PCHS student, slacker/amateur philosopher.

All that (all my likes and dislikes, proclivities, desires and fears which I attribute to MYSELF) would just be socially constructed, supporting the Selfplex, the meme that I consider myself. The Selfplex theory, as far as I know, however, isn't justified by any scientific experiments and cannot be proven true or false, so why are so many people accepting it whole-heartedly (just because it's interesting or they think they could impress someone by knowing such a comprehensive yet on-the-surface-technical idea, I imagine)?

In any event, the Meme article is still too POV. I'm not saying you can't say meme on Meme, obviously, I'm just saying that it shouldn't be presented as Gospel Truth for Christ's sake. ;)

Anyone want to defend Selfplex theory of the idea of memetic self-replication? Until it seems that we can be sure they're verifiable fact we shouldn't present them as such in supposedly NPoV articles. I'm going to put the NPoV template on meme because as I have said, it violates the NPoV Policy by presenting a hypothetical (a rather dubious one at that) as an established fact.

--Maprovonsha172 20:53, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

I wouldn't describe the co-opted use for "fad" pseudoscientific so much as ascientific, because I don't think people who use the word in that sense neccesarily mean it as a scientific concept at all. --Joe D(t) 21:41, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
P.S. Susan Blackmore edited wikipedia a few times in the past and she lives a few yards down the road from me, I could drop a note in asking her to defend memeplex? ;) Possibly too much like original research though...
Speaking for myself, that would be incrediby useful/awesome.

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Who better to discuss whether memetics is proto or pseudoscience, and all the other interesting issues Map brings up? She could also provide a decent overview of the field, point out what we've missed- I don't think any of us here are much more than 'interested layperson' and our knowledge is undoubtedly incomplete. --maru 21:59, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

I only said the meme is sometimes used as a substitute for 'fad'.

To quote myself, I said, "Without it 'meme' is a metaphor, or substitute word for fad, or, quite possibly, an altogether unnecessary and pseudo-scientific neologism." So I'm not saying that calling fads memes is pseudoscientific, just that it's used both ways.

P.S. I would be glad to hear from Mrs. Blackmore has to say about it. --Maprovonsha172 21:56, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Is it possible to be a "self" without having a concept of self?


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do you need to have a concept (implicit or explicitly known) in order to have an implicit understanding?)-- I'd postulate the answer is yes 18:49, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

self-replicating system

I've been thinking about how the discussion has come to the problem of the two different connotations for the word meme, and I think it can best be solved by agreeing that the difference is that so-called 'internet memes' are replicated and (Blackmore's) 'memes' self-replicate.

So to say they replicate themselves is POV, while saying that 'internet memes' are spread all over internet communities is not. So, to disavow my initial thought that all memetic terminology violates the NPoV, I think we could balance the POV by making certain everyone knows the difference between the two concepts and how it's not proven that memes self-replicate, just that some people think they do. --Maprovonsha172 14:22, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

for me, a meme is an idea that seems to have its own life, and copy itself to other people, sometimes apparently without media/medium.

it seems to infect the social culture, in a parasitic/symbiotic way. it passes between minds in various ways and forms, sometimes subliminally, subconsciously.

to me, i think i can recognise a meme when i feel i might know it already, or have worked it out already, or have guessed at it already. when i see it reflected from another mind back at me, i feel this meme or idea (or line of argument) must have its own independent existence, somehow.

it spreads, sometimes like wild fire, and by normal network principles, multiplies as it migrates. and each person who encounters it, adopts it for their own. each person who enters the meme, feels like they are coming home to the idea, and feel comfortable with the idea.

a meme is always truly right.

[ jo abbess : 14 oct 2005 : uk ]

Political memes

I think it would be interesting to have a section for political memes named "Politics" that would be situated near the "Religion" section.

I oftentimes run into Democratic activists who claim that the Republican Party has been using memes over the past generation or so to manipulate the American people. Whether that's true or not, I think this could be a good seed for a new section on this topic. Any thoughts?

Stevie is the man!Talk | Work 19:36, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

It's like what the logical positivists say about metaphysical claims. We can't say one way or the other. Here's what Bertrand Russell said (forgive me if it isn't word for word) about sin: "When I say 'sinner' I don't mean one that commits sins in the Christian sense, because depending on what you believe either everyone or no one does." That's exactly why we can't talk about memes this way, Stevie.

Either no ideas are memes or most all ideas are memes, depending on your beliefs. Many of you believe in memes; in which case both the Democratic and Republican parties are constantly bombarding us with their memes.Maprovonsha172 23:56, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Universal Laws of Memeomics

I have removed the following text by because, in addition to being unwikied, it has no context or source, and is therefore not a comprehensible part of the article:

[0] Non Newtonian phenomena, may spontaneously create or modify memes.

All that follows are subject to [0] in so far as these phenomena occur.

[1] A meme is subject to the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of mass.

[2] A possessor is any thing that can support a meme.

[3] A meme hosted by a possessor changes the net energy(j) of that possessor.

[4] A meme that confers greater net energy(j) to any possessor(s) without destroying itself will be capable of destroying any lesser net energy conferring meme in any possessor.

[5] A net benefit energy calculation must include, acquisition, retention and transmission energy costs of the meme.

[6] Destruction of meme renders it unrecognisable.

[T Edwards]. Note possessors do not have to be human or even "alive" in the common usage of the term.

Bovlb:01:04 (UTC)

Well I put it back. You have to apply your mid a bit, like the really comming to grips with the laws of thermodynamics.

These rules will build a structure that allows memes to be understood and verified. You will have to think about what the implications are.

For example one implication is that a personalilty, is nothing more than a collection of memes that confer sustained energy and mass on the body of the person, That is you are but a compistion of memes that inabit/ reflect the structure(t) of your brain.

Interestingly because this "law" meme was not able to compete with your own memes you rejected it. I humbly sugest that you think hard about the implications of these laws /this particular meme.It deos, I think offer for the fisrt time away to quaitfy the whole meme area, w.r.t to almost all of the do they exist what is it.

It does have a source, T Edwards, [Me] derived the laws after sufficent contemplation and study.

Wikipedia:No original research. --cesarb 6 July:22 (UTC)

The disitinctions made in this policy are meaningless. Esspecially in the area of memes, thus the rule is without juristiction on this topic and a Nulity [Look it up an understand why your "privitive clause" attempt is void ab initio.

Enjoy brushing better.

This stuff does not belong in the article, or in its own article. Encyclopedia articles should not ask the reader to "apply their mind" -- they need to explain fully and clearly. --albamuth 7 July:15 (UTC)
"spontaneously" ??? "[3]" -- what of latent memes (non-expressing), differentiation between potential and kinetic energy? Need to consider elasticity and memeplexes too (in whether a greater energy conferring meme is always capable of destroying a lower energy conferring meme), and potential increase in the energy conferring ability of a meme in a possessor over time (thus the entire system may be subject to conservation laws, but the individual memes and individual possessors are not -- even this is slightly inaccurate as the number of possessors in a system can grow).

-- Nice to see a non-genetic take on memetics. 18:38, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Article cited at CNet

What is the process for updating the list of cited articles and such?

Anyone want to do it as I have no idea what's involved?--Lord Shitzu 20:05, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

Uh, the CNET article links back to the Wikipedia article, but is not about memes per se, just "internet fads". IMHO it's not source material, and thus not worthy of linking to. --albamuth 18:37, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

For now, I'm moving the content that has been commented out to the talk page -- it clutters the main article's edit box. General comments remain intact. -- jiy 19:13, July 25, 2005 (UTC)

(Lead section)

I've commented out the following paragraph because it doesn't seem to fit here.

Is there a better place? It also seems to assume a particular definition of a meme, which seems perhaps like a bad idea.

--wpegden Some memes, such as many on the Internet, tend to proliferate for periods of time then quietly die off: many start as obscure running jokes within net cliques, which gradually lose their original meaning or become otherwise detached. Some people consider absurdist humor as a good source of memes. Generally, the better the communication medium, the faster memes can come into and out of vogue.

Basic introduction

I'm commenting out this next block because, apart from being blatantly one sided on its view of memetics (nearly all of these claims would be contested by many scientists), this stuff is surely better suited for the article on memetics.

The conception and study of memes, known as memetics, has led to new insights in:

  1. general mind operation
  2. cultural evolution

Memetics and the introduction of the meme as a concept build on several previous fundamental scientific discoveries:

  • Evolutionary theory (by Darwin)
  • Recognition of DNA as an information sequence
  • Recognition of the fact that the primary objects of evolution are information sequences in genes

Memeticists may regard meme evolution as a new level of biological evolution, whereby new ideas evolve in seconds rather than over generations (as in biological evolution); this may explain the rapid progress of Homo sapiens.

Memetics may lead to a new level of understanding of meta-science and common thinking practices, such as scientific approach, skepticism and conservatism.

Memetics provides another level of understanding of mental parasites, such as chain letters, urban myths and ideologies.

Memetics can serve as a bridge between artificial intelligence and biology (See alsoexpert systems, knowledge-based systems).

"meme evolution as a new level of biological evolution ... this may explain the rapid progress of Homo sapiens." Is this refering to the physical species, or things created by the species? If anything, ideas have merely enabled humans to propagate larger and intermix with other humans, and somewhat modify ourselves -- this is not a new level of biological evolution, this is merely atypical means of biological evolution/intermixing.

(I recognize the difference in qualitative world-view understanding between my statement and the one I'm commenting on). 18:06, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

That this entire topic is ridiculous, given that the first visual example, the smiley face, hardly has any of the supposed power implied in the gobblygook explantation of what a "meme" is supposed to be.

It's a friggin' icon, a symbol, a graphic. It doesn't mean the same thing to everyone, it doesn't convey any (meaningful) meaning, and it was probably copyrightable when it was created. Is the Windows logo a "meme", or is it a logo?

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Maybe the whole meme thing actually has some weight (although it could be argued that it's just a neologism to give a scholarly sound to someone's original research, and hasn't been all that useful for understanding culture or communication), but this first example really makes it all seem like a hoax. Are social scientists really that afraid to call a spade a symbol for a playing card suit? DavidH 08:12, July 30, 2005 (UTC)

So come up with a better example, and add it.

--goethean 15:13, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Not at all convinced by your criticisms. The smiley certainly fits the criteria for a meme. It gets itself replicated, it has variations and selection acts upon those variations.
Copyright is a means of controlling the spread of memes. It does not imply that something is not a meme. Barnaby dawson 08:09, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

I understand where you're coming from, David.

The fact of the matter is that no one knows yet whether memes even exist. There are many philosophical questions left unanswered.

Genetic modifed food ipo

A good deal of our understanding of the word itself depends largely on which memecist we're talking about, as well. Edward O. Wilson has used the word meme in a mild sense, because he has found that our brains have evolved with large with knowledge, and has come to call these things the brain holds memes. Susan Blackmore is quite extreme in her sense of the word meme, in which she says memes are all we are, and we have no control over which memes we copy and dispurse because we have absolutely no free will, and are merely memetic/genetic constructions.

All around I think they're overly certain about some philosophical questions we have reason to be uncertain about (and most of them aren't even philosophers!).Maprovonsha172 18:45, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

"(and most of them aren't even philosophers!)" -- The moment they started working on questions of ontology, they became philosophers. 17:55, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

My favorite example of a meme is "pork is unclean, don't eat it".

I know at least Judaism and Islam incorporate it into their religion. It may have given cultures an advantage in the days when pig-borne parasites were a serious matter.

- R. Forsman

More likely, an advantage because trying to raise pigs as desert nomads is a losing proposition. But for advantageous disease-avoidance memes in the same ballpark, consider the literal meaning of "glatt" kosher; i.e.

that the lungs of the animal are free from scars. I.e., no tuberculosis. Gzuckier 20:09, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

It is amazing how when this article gets attacked as in the past few weeks we take back control of the article to mold it better.
MEME: "What doesn't kill us just makes us stronger!!" Thank you all for your work.


Replication or evolution

I'm no expert, and only a newbie wiki users, so shoot me down if I'm way off here: I see an internal incosistency with this page. The "basic introduction" talks about evolution, including mutation and competition, as "their fundamental property". But the list at the bottom of the page seems to have mostly non-mutated examples. For example, jingles, Moore's law, etc.

BenBildstein 07:16, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Both jingles and Moore's law are excellent examples of both mutation and competition. If you are a student of advertising, then you will have noted fads among jingles; a new style becomes popular (via competition) and then is adopted/modifed by other advertisers (ie mutation).

As for "Moore's Law", the concept has spawned other notions such as Rock's Law (ie mutation) and the concept itself has spread widely (via competition).

We shoot the newbies here on Wikipedia but, then, try to bandage them up afterward.
WpZurp 13:06, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Non-gene reproduction

Some questions (I wouldn't mind answers on my talk page if anyone knows of them):

1) Other molecules can reproduce, and probably even reproduce in stages.

Are analogs present in memetic theories?

2) How much differentiation goes on between symbolic (physical, vocal, etc...) representations of memes, and memes themselves?

3) How much do the default personality and cognitive characteristics of individual memeticists (and memeticists in general) color memetic theory?

4) Genes die out, but some still have effects (because or in spite of dying) on the genes which remain or are newly created (this can be species or inter-species), is this represented in memetic theories?

5) Which came first: the gene or the organism/shell which houses the gene? Substitute meme for gene. (And don't try to literally figure out which came first, this is a memtic question, not a question of genetics)

6) By assuming the equivalence between "gene" and "meme", is this begging the question?

(The question being language, ideas, etc... as discussed in Talk:Meme#Memes and Memetics vs Diffusion of Innovations) 22:23, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

1)DNA is the molecule in which genes are stored, therefore the memetic equivalent of DNA is neurons and their connections.

Whether memes are restircited to this (particularly human neurons) is basically the point I raise above about memes in non-human animals and other sotrage systems such as books and computers.

2)There is no differentiation, memes are symbolic in that they do not refer to an ontologically discrete set of neurons, just as genes do not refer to a discrete region of DNA.
3)I would assume that memeticists have significant influence on memetic theory.
4)I don't know if it is represented in memetic theory, but reduction in fitness of one meme will obviously have some influence on the fitness of others.
5)By definition they would both originate at the same time.
6)I don't think this question makes sense.
Your questions infer a possible misunderstanding of the term gene.

The gene that a meme is analogous to refers to any genetic information responsible for a particular trait (used more in evolutionary biology).

Talk:Meme/Archive 4

You may be confusing this with a gene refering to a specific region of DNA that codes for a particular protein (sometimes called a cistron and used more in molecular biology). You may conclude that if the trait in question is a protein, then the word would mean the same thing. However, other regions of DNA will effect the protein in addition to the DNA that codes for it. Kernow 19:18, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Too much culture

This article (and seemingly the study of memetics itself) references back to culture at the cost of a more coherent and complete understanding.

You could reference back to individual desires (which do alter over time). You could reference back to other things.

Additional: Memetic evolution

Meme structures may not have an underlying "genotype", but they do have underlying organizations.

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And these memeplexes do have some structural elasticity (ie. rebuilding emotional memories based on the non-emotional things about a situation you remember).

Hold on, meme structures do have underlying "genotypes":

This is also wrong in that it is comparing apples and oranges.

No. 5: The Umbuku Lizard

If a mouse gets it's tail cut off, everything is fine with the genotype, but if a mouse is exposed to a mutagen, everything isn't. If a memeplex loses part of itself, but the possesor still retains the memes the memeplex was built from, everything if fine with the genotype.

If an already built memeplex loses (some of) the memes it is built from (but not built of), it will still retain itself(1), just as the exposed mouse will still retain it's characteristics.

In both of these situations, the memeplex and the mouse will have great difficulty (if not impossibility if the mouse's germline has been compromised, and the necessary requisites for building an understanding of the memeplex in another carrier are no longer available) in passing themselves "down a generation".

Freaks and sports still have a possibility of being created by the mutated memeplex or the mutated mouse.

If the memeplex needs continual "protein transcription" from the destroyed memes it will die, analogous to the physical body of the mouse.