Re: virus: What makes memes compete?

Dave Pape (
Sat, 12 Apr 1997 09:47:49 +0100 (BST)

>From: Tim Rhodes <>

>Well, if the gene anology holds water (and I'm still not convinced it
>does, where's the proof, if any?), then similar memes would benifit from
>NOT competing directly. Just like how it is in the interest of your genes
>to protect your brother until the risk is greater than 50-50 that you,
>yourself, will die (for half of your genes can survive through him).

So... we're talking about there being two overlaying tendencies? A tendency
towards increased competition /and/ a tendency towards decreased competition
as genomes become more similar? Because organisms are competing for more
similar resources, but share more (genetically) in common?

The cultural parallel would be two close subcultures which argue and argue,
but which will unite against external threats? Maybe? Or not?

>> So here's another question: How many copies of a kind of meme do you host?
>> EG, I have memes like:
>> "Don't like dogs"
>> "Look at that crappy dog"
>> "Dogs piss me off"
>> "Dogs shit all over the fcken pavement"
>> Presumably these all weigh in to some internal arguments en masse? Do they?
>> But are in competition for direct expression when it comes to me actually
>> SAYING something negative about dogs?
>Hmmm,... Maybe they "compete" the same way members of the same species
>"compete". The wing (pardon the pun) of the species of dinosuars that
>would become birds "out-competed" the others, but I don't think that means
>there was a direct competition between the wings. Maybe that's already
>been said...

Hmm. That WAS quite a disturbing pun, professor.

>How `bout this: It's in the interest of "Don't like dogs" and "Look at
>that crappy dog" for "Dogs piss me off" and "Dog shit all over the fcken
>pavement" to survive as long as it doesn't threaten their own survival.
>Or maybe they're all just expressions of the same meme, the

Well... this is what I'm considering... that you host families of similar
memes, and within families there's a bit of competition (for expression and
transmission), but... when it comes to the crunch, if ANOTHER family of
memes impinge on a family's patch, the incumbent family will defend the
patch together...?

Maybe they're expressions of that meme in the sense that they're
child-memes, mutated offspring-memes...???

Dave Pape
Always bet on the guy with the spine.

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