Re: virus: Does a dog have meme-nature?

Peter =?iso-8859-1?Q?=D6kner?= (
Sun, 9 Jun 1996 19:01:40 +0100

>Forks are not memes. Forks and other human-crafted artifacts are the
>phenotypic expressions of memes. They indicate the past influence that
>some meme-complex had on the physical world. A crafted object stands in
>the same relation to a meme as a phenotype stands in relation to a sequence
>of genes. This seems to be the only point at which Peter and I dissagree
>in a more substantial sense than just having different interests.

Its funny, i used to think like you, in fact i've started a paper in
on that theme; buildings as phenotypes of memes; and yet i suddenly find
myself argueing another wiew.
Technical artifacts can spread without cultural support. Thru us they
multiply and are selected. Buying swedish cheesecutters for international
friends is losing its novelty value when they can get them at their corner s=
This does not mean that swedish cheeseculture is conquering the world, they
simply work better. Maybe a ridicolous example but....
If the TeTa:s would really land on earth, loose a portable lasergun
and take of again in the middle of the night, we humans would start producin=
copies as soon as we could pry it apart. And without any imediate concern
about what sort of culture produced the artifacts.
Of course there is a strong interaction between technology and culture,
but the exchange goes both ways. Just as there must be between what i
guess you would call memes; laguage based ideas, and genetics.
Another example, the wheel. I would think it was propably invented more
in a process of accidental discoveries than as an act of pure reasoning or
cultural projection. Later this invention got several cultural uses in idea
constructions such as The Wheel Of Life etc.
So while we may choose not to include technology - or non-lingual code -
in the meme definition, these still behave according to the same laws;
My revised version of Grants definition from Principia Cybernetica Web;
"meme (pron.`meem=B4) A contagious information pattern that replicates by
symbiotically" OR PARASITICALLY " infecting human " OR OTHER " minds
and altering their behavior, causing them to propagate the pattern." OR
THE PATTERN."........"An idea or information pattern is not a meme until it
causes someone to replicate it, to repeat it to someone else. All transmitt=
knowledge is memetic."...

Does anybody have a better definition?

Peter =D6kner
Memes wants to be free, sucessfull, and have little intrest in truth.
In fact they are much like people.