Re: virus: Memes and Genes

Dave Pape (
Wed, 15 Jan 1997 23:59:26 GMT

At 20:49 15/01/97 +0000, you wrote:
>On Wed, 15 Jan 1997, Dave Pape <> wrote:
>>Question: Are there many memes which don't help their hosts genetically,
>>which still thrive in the meme pool?
>Faithfulness for one (in western males at least).

Well, for a start, what %age of western males are 100% faithful? It's back
to my two strategies for reproduction again: sleep around or invest all
effort in your kids.

What you SEE is a distribution curve:

| **
| * *
| * *
| * *
| * *
|** **
0% 50 100% Sleep Around
100 50 0% Monogamous

Okay, so the maximum's at 90% Monogamous/10% Sleep Around. The selection
pressure in favour of memes promoting monogamy that I can see is... the
social groups that enact those memes strongly will tend to be less held back
by fgihting between members over mates than social groups which don't.

And yes, I know that there isn't an amazing load of fighting over mates
going on, even though the pro-monogamy institutions of marriage etc seem to
be waning a little, but then:

(a) Maybe there's more than there used to be
(b) Maybe it's masked because our society has loads of "fighting is bad,
full stop" memes kicking around.


Dave Pape
The memetic equivalent of a G3 bullpup-design assault rifle blowing a full
clip at my opponent. (Alex Williams 1996)

Phonecalls: 01494 461648 Phights: 10 Riverswood Gardens
High Wycombe
HP11 1HN