virus: Question

Reed Konsler (
Wed, 4 Jun 1997 12:10:46 -0400 (EDT)

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 03:27:24 -0400 (EDT)

I hate to sound stupid, but what is memetics?

Strange Love,

Here is a parable, I'm not sure if it's true:

Once upon a time there was an American company that
wanted to sell something to a Japanese company. The date
for the sales pitch was set and the company created a task
force of their most talented people to put together the pitch.

The marketing people decided that the Japanese couldn't
possibly have any idea how much the product really cost,
and that as a result, if the pitch was good they might be
able to make substantial profit.

The pitch was good. It was multi-media. It had lots of
flash, lots of data, lots of logic. It was a work of art.

The day of the negotiations came and the three representatives
of the Japanese company, dressed identically in conservative
suits sat down at the table. The lights dimmed.

The show began.

There were tables. There were equations. There were
quotations. There was a spirit in the room that
morning. Coffee flowed.

After 3 hours the lights went up again. There was a
pause. The American team leader waited and,
after an uncomfortable silence, asked:

"Well, what did you think?"

The 3 Japanese representative looked at one another
and the first said:

"We don't understand."

"What", said the team leader, "don't you understand?"

The second gestured with both hands slightly:

"Any of it."

One of the American team memebers, in a flash
of insight, asked:

"Where, if you can remember, did you start to
become confused?"

The Japanese representatives looked at one another
and the third said:

"Shortly after the lights went out."

There was a long and uncomfortable silence and
then the first representative of the Japanese
company said:

"Can you help us?"

And the second said:

"Yes...perhaps you can do it again, only slower?

And the third said:

"Explain it to us as you go along."

And in unison the three representatives widened
their eyes and smiled.


Reed Konsler