virus: Memohazard Symbol

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Fri, 21 Mar 1997 16:35:01 -0800 (PST)

I've been thinking about the use of the biohazard symbol in
association with memetic hazards, and I have reached the
conclusion that a new symbol would be appropriate for many

- Purely from a PR point of view, a new symbol would likely
be a catchy meme, and tend to spread to web pages like
"Under Construction" icons. One could put this icon on a
page without risking the negative connotations of the real
biohazard symbol, and without devaluing that symbol itself
for its legitimate uses. It could serve as a sort of
"Danger: Opinions Ahead" sign.

- It could also be used as an editorial-disclaimer warning
for pages of links. "Beware: The ideas on the following
pages are not mine, and I take no responsibility for them."

- Biohazard symbols on t-shirts, bumper stickers, hats, and
tattoos already have the association in the gay community
of being HIV-positive.

- There is a certain elegant symmetry to the threesome of
symbols: Radiation representing environmental, non-living
dangers; Biohazards representing competing life forms, and
Memohazards representing competing ideas in other sentients.
A new kind of evolution creates a new kind of hazard.

I tried a couple of designs: circular of course, with the
threefold rotational symmetry of the others, but distinct
enough to be unmistakable for them. I'd like to see others'
designs, though, especially those who are better artists that
I am. The shape I chose for the leaves of the symbol were
arcs resembling sattelite dishes or ears: memetic media.
Another suggested converging sound waves, but didn't look as
good as I had hoped.

What else might the group suggest?

Lee Daniel Crocker <>