From genes to memes
in The extended self
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Richard Dawkins first arrived at the idea of the meme via his theory of what makes genes so special and how they function, which he set out in his well known work on biological evolution, The Selfish Gene. Robert Aunger asserts that such evidence supports an interpretation of memes as clusters or 'nodes' of neurological activity capable of reproducing themselves with fidelity, which he describes in some detail. The key to understanding how memes live and work in the brain, he argues, lies in understanding the neurological processes involved in long-term and short-term memory. In place of the biologist's concepts of genotype and phenotype, she proposes a more appropriate memetic distinction between two modes of cultural replication and transmission: 'copy-the-product' and 'copy-the-instructions'.

The extended self

Architecture, memes and minds


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