Children of the mind, ideas have a life of their own, just as flesh-children, grown up, pursue their own life. Like flesh-children, ideas come in an enormous variety of types of character and personality, the latter manifesting as rhetorical forms. Rhetorical in its most inclusive sense.
Ideas require resources to generate them, and resources to keep them alive and functioning. Ideas die when they can't function. They function imperatively to reproduce themselves, populating any hospitable environment, symbolically encoded. Just like cockroaches, humans, and other species of organisms, they function as living systems.
Living systems function as complex adaptive systems, hierarchically structured into levels, each encoded in a different symbol system. At the organism level, matter and energy manifest. At the idea level, energy but not matter manifests. Both levels process information. Organisms and ideas both function autonomously, as do the sublevels that generate them.
Ideas adapt to their environments. They sit silently enlettered in unopened books. In conversations they interpenetrate and morph...