You may have the image of Macromemetics that humans are not just sheep, but actual sheep-robots, and all they do is regurgitate dumb ideas back and forth, imitating each other in fairly shallow ways, without any originality or creativity.

Since there is nothing new invented, and there is no creative exchange between the humans involved, how can new ideas be created and new systems of ideas be introduced? Does Macromemetics pretend that new things are not created? That new systems of ideas don’t get adopted?

Of course not. But how does it work?

Where New Ideas Come From

Memes mutate and reproduce, and form systems, and this is all micromemetic theory. From nothing, from random actions, speech events, images, come new memes, and some of these catch on, and they begin to form themselves into memetic systems, memeplexes. This is how new memes and memeplexes appear.

There are splinter cults and sects that spin off of existing religions, like Christianity from Judaism, and some become even bigger than the original, like Christianity from Judaism, and some grow by borrowing memes and submemeplexes, like Christianity from Greek and Norse mythology.

The Loyal Opposition

At all times there are systems of memes operating in the background, which are under-adopted, or could even be in a kind of stasis, i.e., only written down or recorded and not even actively enacted within a given memetic cohort. They may even be enacted within the cohort, but within another cohort.

And this is the way things actually work. Ideas are produced together, like solar power or recycling or electric cars or such that seem to have a few good things going for them but fall down on a few key points, and everybody is used to the old way anyway, and they’re not quite good enough to knock that main thing off the pedistal...yet.

The Role of Power

Another way is that a memetic nexus, a person in power to whom everyone listens, puts out new memes, or more normally, just adopts an existing one that’s waiting in the wings. Rather like the Roman Empire Constantine converting to Christianity, for example.

Summary and Conclusion

Yes, memetic environments change, they adopt new memetic systems, new ideas get generated. We start recycling, it was ridiculed but becomes mainstream, power has become greener and greener, and we have actually started using wind and even solar both of which were flatly ridiculed as impractical within the past ten years.

These ideas lurk in the shadows, breeding and colluding, getting more and more ready to step in when the climate shifts. It may seem that they are generated in response to a need may not be the case. Not all idea systems make it to the top. Many are born, and based on luck and chance, they are all available to choose from when a shift in the climate occurs, and one is selected, by chance.