tell me a story about the last meme you met
Daniel A. Foss (DFOSS@CCVM.SUNYSB.EDU)
Tue, 15 Feb 1994 18:45:13 EST
of it, merely the last 53 pages' worth. In all the immensity of argumentation,
counterargumentation, standing-above-the-argumentation, and not-real-but-good-
heuristically-ation, there would seem to have been perhaps two, a presumed
undercount, examples or specimens of memes with tags and pins stuck through
them. These are, as I recall, (1) Christianity; and (2) automobiles. Both
of these are Hard Cases. Wherein they are hard cases, I may get around to
explaining or may not; certainly not here and now.
The easy cases, that is, what is signified by the folk-usages of "meme,"
are for the most part: (a) neologisms; (b) neologized jargon propagated by
bureaucratic entities; (c) youth-subcultural jargon; and (d) slogans. The
New X promulgated by the Administration of a US president is very nearly the
type case of the latter; currently, but long-ago forgotten, it is the New
Covenant. With this is associated a three-word motto, WORK! AUTHORITY!
FAMILY! Excuse me, slight error; that's the motto of Vichy France. The
motto of the Clinton Administration is actually, OPPORTUNITY! RESPONSIBILITY!
COMMUNITY! The meaning, however, is identical in either case.
Let's get down to cases, shall we? Empirically observed, or at least in
principle observable, data, please, everyone.
Daniel A. Foss