Re: How Memes Work
Sun, 3 Aug 1997 14:45:21 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 8/3/97 6:38:58 AM, (JD) wrote:

>Conspiracy memes are quite infectious (partly because there is a large
>element of truth) but the Establishment fights back hard through
>Foundation supported propaganda every time they start to gain momentum.

Where do you get the ideas that truth has much to do with the spread of
memes? Most people have somewhat limited facilities to test the truth of a
meme (in terms of research and experimentation) and, insofar as they have
facilities, they don't use them. I know people who haven't been to a library
in years, and I have relatively well-educated friends.

The most powerful and successful memes in human society either don't address
truth (such as fashions, language, or fiction) or succeed mostly
independently of their truth (religion and political systems). Memes spread
mostly on their catchiness, and conspiracy memes definitely fall in that
category. Generally speaking, conspiracy theories do worse amongst
scientists, probably the best extant truth-analyzers, than the general