1. Tools exist to create computational memetics through machine learning / NLP

  2. Transmission is a function of emotion / simplicity, not truth

  3. The only ideas you see are the ones that can propagate

  4. Memes are antifragile (grow stronger from attack, generally through increased exposure)

  5. Replicators

    1. Transmission by moving from one mind to another

    2. Differential Selection based on longevity, fecundity / virality, copying-fidelity

  6. There are many truths that can not or fail to propagate that are lying around to be collected

  7. Competing memes buttress one another

    1. Opposed memes generate controversy, leading to arguments that ensure that many are exposed to the meta-meme

    2. Ex. Toxoplasma of rage

  8. Memes are replicators that ideologies cooperate to spread

  9. Memetic drift

    1. Due to negative connotation

    2. Colored -> Negro -> African American / Black

    3. Artificial Intelligence -> Machine Intelligence

  10. Memetics as organismic analogy for ideas

  11. Sources on “memes” within an evolutionary framework

    1. Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Chapter 11 Memes: The New Replicators
  12. Vaccination / Immunization to ideas

  13. Meme design

  14. Meme components

    1. Emotional / Attentional

    2. Value Add

  15. Genealogy of ideas

Computational Memetics

  1. Cascade prediction

    1. Predicting the spread of memes across a social graph

      1. Ex. Can cascades be predicted?
    2. Predicting strength of inculcation of meme

      1. Ex., number of times meme repeated by a person

      2. Intensity / Density of engagement with meme

  2. Understanding Properties of Memes

    1. Affect / Sentiment / Emotionality

    2. Longevity

    3. Fecundity (Propensity to spread)

  3. Understanding people - which memes they’re vulnerable to

  4. Understanding the memetic environment

  5. Learn the structure of the genealogy of memes

  6. Networks over which to conduct research

    1. Top Tier

      1. Twitter

      2. Facebook

      3. Reddit

    2. Second Tier

      1. Instagram

      2. Youtube

      3. LinkedIn

      4. Pinterest

      5. Tumblr

    3. Third Tier

      1. Quora

      2. Google Trends

      3. Google / Bing / Yahoo Search Results

      4. Google +

The Selfish Gene Meme Idea List:

  1. Memetic evolution is much faster than genetic evolution

  2. Memes can be seen as alive, if life evolves by the differential survival of replicators.

  3. Memes are parasites, in that they use their host to survive and reproduce.

  4. The emergence of the meme as a new replicator is akin to the emergence of alien life on our planet.

    1. We make a distinction between cellular life and memetic life.

    2. Life = Replicator + Differential Selection. Not cellular life - memetic life. That’s why it’s alien.

    3. Memes are alien because they’re separate from us - they’re parasites / mutualists / commensalists. We are hardware for the memes. People identify with memes - that’s a property of memes that give it strength. There is definitely coevolution between memes and people. People conflate memes (ideas, beliefs, memories) and cells (platform, hardware) when thinking about “their life”.

  5. The name meme comes out of ‘mime’ - from the imitation that memes use to spread.

  6. Standards for memes:

    1. Longevity

    2. Virality / Fecundity

    3. Creation of Desire to Spread

      1. Value Added

      2. Psychological Appeal

    4. Ease of Spread

      1. Simplicity

      2. Attachment to other memes in cultural environment

    5. Creation of Need to Spread

      1. Ex., Hell
    6. Copying Fidelity?

  7. Empirically, memes are constantly modified and blended, certainly at a low level of abstraction

  8. Memes often have Hierarchical Structure

    1. Memes exist at multiple levels of abstraction

    2. Memes have higher fidelity at more abstract levels

  9. Memes can be thought of as active agents, working for their own survival. Memes defend themselves, invade others, etc.

    1. They are just like biological life; they have a fitness function.
  10. Memes compete over limited resources.

    1. Attention

    2. Memory

    3. Time (Ex. Radio / TV Time)

    4. Space (Ex. Billboard Space, Newspaper Column-Inches, Library Shelf Space)

  11. Interaction with Cultural Environment

    1. Many memes are closely linked and share their selection outcome

    2. Ex. Organized Church, with architecture, rituals, laws, music, art, writings.

    3. Memes can hijack other memes to propagate themselves.

  12. Explanation for behavior that doesn’t have a grounding in evolution

    1. A gene for celibacy is unlikely to survive, but a meme for celibacy can.
  13. Memes can oppose evolutionary success of the human carrying the meme

    1. Ex. Celibacy, Life after Death, Honor in war
  14. There is stability in the meme pool, which new memes have to invade. Pool goes to evolutionarily stable solution.

  15. Genetic longevity through children as weaker than memetic longevity.

  16. We don’t need to look for biological survival value of traits like religion, music, dancing, etc. - we just need to show that the memes have properties that advantage their own survival.

Examples of Memes:

  1. Tunes

    1. Song - ‘Auld Lang Syne’

    2. Symphony

  2. Ideas

    1. God / Religion

    2. Jewish Religion Laws

    3. Life After Death

    4. Threat of Hell

    5. Faith - Belief without evidence

    6. Celibacy

  3. Catch-phrases

  4. Fashon

  5. Engineering

    1. Ways of making pots (aesthetic)

    2. Ways of creating arches (aesthetic)

  6. Language

  7. Songs of Songbirds

  8. Diet

  9. Ceremonies

  10. Customs

  11. Art

  12. Architecture