Memes operate through specialised clusters of social norms.
A well exercised perceptual norm draws the meme to our attention; then a
cluster of semiological norms that encode its rich set of connotations, then
triggers other powerful norms provoking attitudes of many kinds: emotions,
behavioural dispositions, expectations, other perceptions . . .
We cannot disconnect information from social norms without
treating it as more or less a physical phenomenon, as computer science
does. Norms determine what information
people need to function socially, especially collaboratively.
I hope that discussing memes will draw attention to the
essential role of norms in the functioning of every human information system,
which distinguishes them from IT systems.
Disregarding norms allows us to treat semantics in the artificial,
mechanistic, OWL-oriented paradigm that seems to dominate most Ontolog
discussions. Real-world semantics, is
impossible without understanding the continual interplay between norms and