Re: virus: The War is On!!!

Dave Pape (
Wed, 5 Feb 1997 19:08:49 GMT

At 23:41 04/02/97 EST, David R wrote:


> I can take on any dishonest person one-on-one, but I'm only human and I cannot
>take on a gang. You have to speak up and show some support.

The general request for assistance is a widespread meme. And I think it's
easy to see why such a meme should be selected for (assuming memes are
subject to evolutionary forces, and I believe they are), especially when
/memetic/ assistance is what's being called for.

Often, but not always, transmitting this meme into a heterogenous group
memetic ecology (a discussion, an argument, any situation in which memes are
being exchanged between a number of people) will have the effect of
activating memes which are in agreement with those of the requester. Again
(see my recent post), this meme does not represent a pro-logic strategy for
argument, but is often memetically useful, since all argument (imcluding,
but not limited to, logical argument) is a competition for neural resource
between memes, and this strategy may well activate memes which are "on the
requester's side". Of course, I believe that personalities are memetic
constructs, so asking for help activates the people-memes that are on your side.

>Or, I'll leave.

This strategy, this meme, is also quite widespread. Memetically it works
like this:

People tend to live and work in groups. This is I think because groups allow
division of labour, but also division of /memetic processing/. Groups
process memes rather like single brains do, I reckon. I see doubt as I see
argument; populations of conflicting memes competing for cognitive resource.
The difference is one of scale, and geographical separation between bits of
that resource.

If a group functions together well, then the people involved gain a benefit
from that group being maintained. Transmitting the meme "Or I'll leave,"
serves, /in groups whose members gain a benefit from the threatener/, to
activate memes which may have the effect of making the threatener stay.

I believe that the effectiveness of this meme when transmitted in any
particular group is proportional to the perceived benefit to individual
members of having the threatener in the group.

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