Re: virus: Definition of meme (from alt.memetics)

David McFadzean (
Tue, 31 Dec 1996 14:51:31 -0700

At 02:59 PM 30/12/96 -0500, Alexander Williams wrote:

>As we've already established, homogenous groups have no internal
>motivation toward evolution. Let's keep diversity alive! Altogether

Actually I think we would make more progress if we could at least
agree on a definition of "meme".

>No meme has ever been flawlessle recreated from an examination of its
>spoor, either. From studying the tracks, droppings and trails of an
>animal, a hunter may get a pretty good idea of the kind it is, its
>habits, how old it is, if its wounded, and a hundred other things
>depending on how well the tracks are laid and the hunter's experience,
>/even if he's never see this animal before/. Likewise, memes leave
>spoor in language, art, image, scrawl, voice, a hundred thousand tracks
>that are left, sometimes deliberately, for others to find and get /an
>idea of/ the depositor. They do not get the depositor.

Nevertheless, memes cause new memes by their influence. Animals
do not cause new animals with their spoor.

>Btw, technically `genes' /aren't/ passed from generation to generation.
>At some point the DNA splits and RNA starts doing the copying; at such
>point the "genes" are no longer coherent entities, they're read and
>interpreted by amino acids to copy, and errors can occur, etc.

I beg to differ. Genes are transmitted by definition. The DNA is
not (except for that contained in the sex cells). You seem to be
confusing the two, genes are coded information that just happens
to be manifested in DNA.

>In the off chance my opinion carries any weight /anywhere/, I vote I
>remain a heretic but that the schism be conveyed whenever it comes up
>since it does draw attention to important points. :)

Of course you are welcome to use whatever definitions you like,
as long as communication is not an issue :)

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus