Re: virus: Is the term "meme" necessary?

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Tue, 14 May 1996 17:05:26 -0700

Richard Brodie wrote:
>.... when we use the word "meme" we usually are talking
>about a concept, but the memetic model leads us to think about
>interesting things like how well the concept replicates to other minds,
>how it got in my mind in the first place, and so on.

Sure, I am interested in how well concepts replicate and how they get in my
mind. I am also interested in ways people manipulate people in order to get
what they want (in a short or a very long run). Why do we have to call it

Kristin Larsen wrote to Richard Brodie:
>Now that I know what a meme is and how they work, I=B9m noticing them=20
>all over. I often catch myself thinking, =B3Hey, that=B9s a meme, and=20
>that=B9s a meme! Meme! Meme! Meme!=B2 Ah! Its an invasion! Hmm. Now=
>that I think about that, it really is, an invasion of the mind.

I have the same feeling after reading Richard's book: invasion of concepts,
ideas, and behaviours everywhere, and especially on this list ("ROFL", "fuck
you", "try a debating club", "I shouldn't have gotten sucked in"). These
are ways people manipulate people in real life too. The "science of
manipulation" or "influence" (as Cialdini calls it) would be a more
appropriate name -- if we didn't know memetics, where mystery has been
recognized as a powerful meme...

Richard, cont:
>The study of how and why memes evolve and spread will be one of the
>driving forces of social change over the next century; that's why I
>train myself to use the word "meme" and to identify them on a daily

I agree that a study of how people manipulate each other has a future. Our
leader is already "training himself" to make it a religion. The twelve
commandments are listed on pp. 192-195. I can not imagine how sex will be
tied in (according to rule #9 it must be).

I found this group through Richard Dawkins' concept of "memes". Here I
learned about Richard Brodie and his "Virus of the Mind" (I still think it
is an excellent book). I had no problems using the word "meme". Now I do.

What is your intension, Richard?

Tad Niwinski
(from TeTa)