RE: virus: AIDS Meme

Vicki Rosenzweig (
Mon, 21 Oct 96 11:03:00 PDT

This isn't exactly what Lior is describing/looking for, but the
easy example of a lethal meme that survives is martyrdom,
the idea that it is good to die for a belief or cause. (Dying to
protect one's descendants or other close blood kin can be
explain in genetic terms.)

From: owner-virus
To: virus
Subject: virus: AIDS Meme
Date: Sunday, October 20, 1996 10:22PM

What about the idea of an AIDS meme? Here are its features:
1. The meme uses the immune system's facilities in order to replicate.
2. By using those facilities for its own replication it unables their proper
3. The immune system spends its resources on fighting the meme. It manages
reduce the number of active memes
to a certain point, till the meme wins over as the immune system is
4. Gradually the immune system weakens. On a certain point, a meme which is
usually destroyed by the immune
system takes advantage of the new situation. It consumes all the system's
resources until the system is
completely dead.
5. All memes die, including the AIDS meme.

I found it hard to define the right equivalents of infection and external
propagation. They are equally
important anyway. The stress is upon the concept of a lethal meme which does

Any suggestions?