Re: virus: Memes and Genes

Dave Pape (
Thu, 16 Jan 1997 23:55:32 GMT

At 22:20 16/01/97 +0000, you wrote:
>On Wed, 15 Jan 1997, Dave Pape <> wrote:
>>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.
>But the original question was; what memes bestow a genetic disadvantage
>upon their hosts? What you're saying here is that the faithfulness meme
>doesn't have a very strong hold on very many males and I'm inclined to
>agree (based purely on experiential observation, no numbers to hand).

No, what I'm saying here is that, the faithfulness meme is ADVANTAGEOUS to
the host's genes in a lot of social contexts, so the "Faithfulness for one"
answer doesn't answer my question.

I'm just feeling a bit panicky because a while ago there was a thread I was
involved with on Virus about freewill (I don't believe in freewill), and
someone (sorry, don't remember who) hit me with Quantum Indeterminancy as a
way of saying that perhaps no, every decision I (thought I'd) ever made was
NOT predictable a priori from physics, but NOW I'm thinking, shit, what if
all my memes are totally shepherded by genetic considerations? In that case
I'd be sat here thinking "wahey, my memes can interact to form gorgeous
cognitive structures" when in fact they're fully shepherded by my genes'

What I was saying in the post YOU'RE replying to was that I'd found a way
for faithfulness to be under genetic control, in that genes for making you
Think Faithful could be selected for in a social situation (human beings
dealing with the world in the context of social groups).

Remain a higher primate at peace.

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

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