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Definition of cybermeme: A cybermeme is a meme that propagates from computer to computer in cyberspace - term coined by James A. Petrait in 1996.

A new type of learning based on the evolutionary science of memetics will be evolving in this location. This may be learning with no requirements, no tests, no grades , and you can take part in the development of it.

Richard Dawkins was the first one to coin the word "meme" (it rhymes with "gene"). "The Memetic Lexicon" by Glen Grant (see link below) gives excellent definitions of "meme" and the other terms associated with it. Glen Grant gives the following definition of the meme:

"Meme: (pron. `meem') A contagious information pattern that replicates by parasitically infecting human minds and altering their behavior, causing them to propagate the pattern. (Term coined by Dawkins, by analogy with "gene".) Individual slogans, catch-phrases, melodies, icons, inventions, and fashions are typical memes. An idea or information pattern is not a meme until it causes someone to replicate it, to repeat it to someone else. All transmitted knowledge is memetic. (Wheelis, quoted in Hofstadter.)"

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines "meme" as "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture."

In order to be able to study memes in cyberspace, I coined the term "cybermeme" in 1996. I define "cybermeme" as a meme that propagates from computer to computer in cyberspace. Cybermemes passing through and residing in computers on the internet can be defined and observed with more precision than with memes passing through human brains. By using the science of cybermemetics perhaps more can be learned about the science of memetics. Because both are concerned with the propagation of information and education is the learning of information, education can only benefit by studying both sciences and the interaction between them. Often the two sciences will converge and the terminology and methods will be similar but there may be significant differences between them which will require new terminology and methods. Often the word "meme" can be used and mean the same as the word "cybermeme". If it involves only the human or the interaction between the human and the internet, "meme" would be the better word to use. If it involves only the internet, "cybermeme" would be the appropriate one.




This is my attempt at developing in a more explicit manner a way of education that goes on all of the time below our level of awareness. Since memetics is closely connected with the science of evolution, I do not propose that I will have a final answer on how to use memetics and cybermemetics in education because I am a part of the evolutionary process and I will be need to be infected by other memes that will help develop this new way of education. I will need your memetic input and it will be those memes and cybermemes that propagate that will determine the success of this way of education. Perhaps you can begin by becoming infected with all of the memes regarding the science of memetics by following the several links below. And if you become infected by the memetic memes and you in turn cause others to do so, then aren't you really learning and teaching knowledge? Wasn't easy? Wouldn't it be great if all education could work the same way?


Come back and check this site out often and be sure to propagate the cybermeme:






   Books on Memetics and Related Subjects

Memetic Lexicon by Glenn Grant

Salesian Cybermemes



I am grateful to the many great minds who have developed the science of memetics and to all others who may contribute to it in the future. Some of the contents of this page may be original with me. If that is the case, feel free to use any of it but be sure to give me credit for it. Also, I see the science of memetics as very useful and as a science to be value-free although the memes can express values. So, I don't endorse all of the information that you might find on the subject of memetics through my links.


James A. Petrait, St.Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

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© 1996 - 14, James A. Petrait

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