To reach another individual, an expression needs a physical carrier or medium which is sufficiently stable to transmit the expression without too much lossor deformation. Speech, for example, uses sound to transmit an expression, while text will be transmitted through ink on paper or electrical impulses in a wire. The expression will take the form of a physical signal, modulating the carrier into a specific shape from which the original meme can be re-derived. This physical shape may be called the meme vehicle. For example, meme vehicles can be books, photographs, artefacts or CD-ROMs. Selection at the transmission stage happens through either elimination of certain memes, when the vehicle is destroyed or gets corrupted before it is perceived by another individual, or through differential multiplication, when the vehicle is reproduced into many copies. For example, a manuscript may be put into the shredder or it may be turned into a book which is printed in thousands of copies. A radio communication may get lost because of noise, or it may be broadcasted to millions of listeners. Especially since the emergence of mass media, including the electronic network, the transmission stage is the one where the contrast between successful and unsuccessful memes is largest, and where selection may have the largest impact. (Heylighen, Francis, 2001)

Last edited on Thursday, October 2, 2003 4:55:47 pm.