RE: virus: Memes and Genes

Richard Brodie (
Wed, 15 Jan 1997 07:27:44 -0800

Dave Pape wrote:

>Question: Are there many memes which don't help their hosts
>which still thrive in the meme pool?

You've just asked what I think is the most interesting question brought
up by memetics, and to which I devoted considerable discussion in Virus
of the Mind. Given that your genes give you a set of instincts that
point you in one direction, and your memes give you a context/world
view/ethos that points you in another direction...what is YOUR best

But to answer your question briefly: birth control, late marriage,
monogamy for men, and celibacy for priests seem like obvious candidates.
There are probably many others that act less directly.

Interestingly, in today's society I would say there are GENETIC drives
that don't help their hosts genetically...they just haven't caught up
with us yet. And Vonnegut, in Galapagos, argues that intelligence is a
losing genetic trait!

Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?