Just as in other studies of the mind
, computer analogies
are very fruitful and interesting when dealing with meme
s. (Best to follow that last link at this point)
If memes are software, then other principles of software should apply to them. And many do: Memes have bugs and features, some only work on certain operating systems, some use more RAM and some are fast and efficient.
Catholicism, for instance, is bloatware -- the guilt subroutines take up way too much memory, and there's the problem of needing to download all the updates from the Vatican, which has a notoriously slow server. Atheism, by contrast, takes only a few lines of code. But it doesn't have all those nifty features, like mass.
Extending this analogy further, think about porting. The version of capitalism that runs on the China platform is very interesting.
But the best thing about looking at memes as software is that you can decompile them -- convert them into a script you can tinker with. You can optimize the meme for your own OS, integrate it with other memes on your system, edit out bad code -- all kinds of things.
Decompiling memes is different from decompiling software because memes evolve. They may have been written, but it is likely they have picked up some mutations along the way. (the original source code for Christianity runs much better on most minds.) Whether you want to keep these mutations is up to you.
Most of what you want to edit out of memes is the stuff that makes it reproduce. If it makes you believe that you need to "save" other people, you can just delete that part right off the bat. If it's like Windows 98, and refuses to uninstall itself, you should delete that, too. Also get rid of things, if you want, that force the deletion of other memes on your system.
You may want to add some features, to your own taste, or maybe just personalize -- "God" can become "Goddess" or "Tux," if you want.
If anyone manages to properly port Zen into the Western Society OS, please let me know. There are some ports out there, but none are really satisfactory.