RE: virus: Memes and Genes
Tue, 21 Jan 1997 13:29:22 -0600 (CST)

On Wed, 15 Jan 1997, Richard Brodie wrote:

> Dave Pape wrote:
> >Question: Are there many memes which don't help their hosts
> >genetically,
> >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
> interest?
> 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.

Monogamy for men is a slippery one. Consider Alex's description of
Tierra. If there are no disabling "parasites", then monogamy for men is
indeed an obvious candidate.

When such "parasites" [chlymidia [sic] is the stealthiest, AIDS the most
terrifying] are introduced, social structures are necessary to maximize
children that survive to reproductive age. In extreme cases, memetics
[ideosphere-based] can dominate genetics. The effective social
structures take CIS graph theory into account: either prevent huge trees
[marriage, be it polygyny or monogamy. You have pointed out why
polyandry is rare.], or maintain effective screening [Nevada, for instance.]
The former is a low-tech local solution, the latter a high-tech global

Late-marriage [men *only*] coordinates well with polygynous marriages,
biologically. I'm not so confident about socially.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd