Now that’s Memetics of Different Color

This is another one of those times when rather than blogging about a paper topic I should probably actually be writing the paper.

Somehow a paper that started out looking at the “series of tubes” meme’s relationship to the rhetoric of public policy has turned into a highly theoretical paper lambasting conventional memetics scholarship using the “series of tubes” as a case study.  Hopefully prof won’t mind the complete lack of structure and stream-of-consciousness writing because that’s all I have in me now.

But really, what’s wrong with these memeticists?  Memes and their intentions.  Really.  Oh, I firmly believe memes exist, but to think they are completely detached from meaning and the people who imbue them with meaning.  (It’s like *SPOILER* (Papa Smurph you should really watch Firefly) Jubal Early says, does River’s room, when she’s not in it, still have purpose?  Probably since she keeps her stuff in there, but you get my point.)  Memes are nothing without the people who propagate them.  And on the flip side people would not be who they are without memes.  Also, in a vacuum memes are value-neutral.  In the real world, memes are negative to some and positive to others.  All of this seems self evident to me, but then I see the unfolding expanses of culture mapped out in my brain.  There I go being all flowery, ain’t the universe elegant again.  Pshaw.

And as much as I hate the word, Daniel Dennett is an elitist, in the most pejorative sense.

Took some antihistamines.  I’m feeling all goofy now and should sleep.  Peace out until I emerge from the paper-writing side of the looking glass.

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2 Responses to “Now that’s Memetics of Different Color”

  1. Pappa Smurf Says:

    YES! I have more to say, but i need to finish this paper. I will comment later.

  2. Pappa Smurf Says:

    I agree, to disconnect in any sense a meme from the human life world is silly. It is like the Romantic idea of “tradition” as some abstract force that moves through the folk. Like orality (always on the orality), memes cannot be removed from human process and activity. They do not simply exist. Memes have to be articulated and acted on. Memes are made to seem to be these things that just exist and are replicated and affect humans. Humans seem almost an afterthought. But, were all human beings to disappear, memes would cease to exist. Memes cannot exist without human beings. I get the feeling that some scholars view the idea of the meme as some impersonal god-like force. I suppose that the human brain (brains!) needs to be better understood before memes can be defined as something that directs itself (I don’t feel like that is saying what I mean) or human directed.

    I am all caught up with Firefly now, so it is cool. I need to watch it again.

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