Re: virus: From the shadows

Robin Faichney (
Fri, 21 Mar 1997 10:09:00 -0000

(Repost due to server prob)

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
>> ...By the way if anybody here is in advertising or marketing
>> ...Kill yourself.
>It is morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money. Advertising
>is the means by which the memetically unfit are weeded from the population.
>Evolution requires both variation and /selection/. Advertisers are just
>the predators of the meme pool.

(This may be ironic, but I see so particular sign of that, so
I'll treat it seriously.)

Some confusion here. I can see two fundamental distinctions
being ignored. One between memes and people, the other
between memetic and genetic selection.

People don't have fixed capacities -- they can learn, so
selection is not simply for ability, but education, which is a
function primarily not of the individual but of society. So we
lose individuals with plenty of potential but relatively few
opportunities, and keep those mediocrities who were lucky
enough to have been taught how to keep their heads above
water in the cultural meme pool.

The very existence of memes (culture) means that simple
evolution on an individual basis no longer works. The
libertarians' problem is that they can't understand that and
don't have the emotional response that substitutes for such
understanding in most people (compassion), which is why
they grossly undervalue culture and civilisation, prefering
competition to cooperation.

Robin Faichney