Human Knowledge Is Meme Replication

Despite common ancestry between humans and apes, humans have the ability to grow collective knowledge through the replication of memes.

Memes are ideas paired with behaviors. Replicating a meme means you’ve internalized the idea and behaviors to transmit them to others.

You can teach apes to open a nut using a tool and a process, but they are not replicating memes they are emulating the motions. Humans don’t learn through emulation but through explanation.

Creativity is required to replicate memes. The same creativity needed to acquire existing knowledge is the same thing needed for creating new knowledge.

This also explains how vast collective knowledge can start from a static society that tries its best to inhibit any change or new ideas. It takes creativity to perfectly replicate existing knowledge and ideas.

The Beginning of Infinity

  • Thinking Better Thoughts

    I remember when I first started working at Stripe I felt like the dumbest person in the room. I was amazed at how smart everyone seemed and the writing…gosh, the writing! If I wanted to be like that too, something needed to change.