Re: virus: Replication of Memes

Twirlip of Greymist (
Fri, 2 Aug 1996 17:48:53 -0700 (PDT)

On Aug 1, 5:00pm, Steve Upstill wrote:
} Subject: virus: Replication of Memes

} its host to pass it on. For example, a meme that arrives at
} the host via advertising is a good meme if it finds
} acceptance in millions of hosts, independent of whether
} those hosts ever pass it on to others.

This meme is dependent on a point source. Kill the source, and wait for
the current hosts to die, and then you have a dead meme. Perhaps not
completely dead these days -- memes can squeak along in historical
archives like dead gods in the Dreaming -- but dead enough. Zeus is
not as dead as the Etruscan gods, but he isn't getting far on foot,

Whereas a self-replicating meme, like a good gene, is immortal. It's
hosts infect new hosts, or at least pass it on to their children. There
is no chokepoint to kill it off at. The Coca-cola meme won't last much
longer than the Coca-cola company, but Judaism is forever.

} On an analytic level, I would contend that we are host to
} far more memes than could ever be expected to influence us
} to pass them on. The key elements are 1) the meme's

Yes and those memes are important to their hosts -- what ideas lurk in
your brain? But epidemiology is not concerned.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"It's over," said Rep. Charles Schumer [on the collapse of Congressional
anti-terrorism talks]. The House Republican leaders "have come up with
this smokescreen called privacy."