Something I wrote a while back, but (if you will forgive the postmodern self-referential nature of the comment) it bears repeating:
I have said on many occasions that the belief in "memes" is merely a self-replicating bit of information code, passed from mind to mind through speech, and having no reality other than its ability to replicate itself further.
Grammatically, memes only ever exist in the third or second person, not in the first person. Their or Your deeply-held and cherished beliefs are memes, whereas My deeply-held and cherished beliefs are enlightenment.
This belief in memes is convenient because it excuses a debater finding himself in a position of weakness in an argument from having to address the content of opposing thoughts. By being called a “meme” the opposing thought is merely gratuitously asserted to have no content, and, hence, nothing exists to argue against.
The debater is hence able to make a response, a more or less meaningless series of words, which has the surface appearance of being an answer, and which (to the unwary) creates an impression of being a devastating riposte or counter-argument; which of course is much easier to accomplishing, requiring neither learning, thought, inside, wisdom, training, care, or patience, which might be demanded to achieve the same effect one might enjoy if actually answering the argument.
One gets something for nothing. Fools can look wise, and the uneducated and lazy thinker can rout, or seem to, the educated and rigorous argument of his opposition.
Both the victim of the meme ad hominem and the audience, being under the same pressure to minimize the effort put into thought, and craving the shallow appearance of being thinkers, will remember and repeat the belief in memes, so it becomes part of their thought-pattern, without, of course, ever being taken seriously by any thinkers. And so it spreads. That is the Darwinian selection that allows a belief in memes to continue.
No one really believes in memes, of course. Any honest thinker who actually believed that some or all thought-content was no more than self-replicating lines of words without meaning would doubt his own beliefs first (including the belief that his thought-content was no more than self-replicating lines of word without meaning).
Belief in memes is just a meme.
Please pass this idea along to as many people as you know.