Re: virus: Comments on Brodie's Posting

Eric Boyd (
Tue, 11 Jun 1996 01:33:49 -0500 (Timothy Perper/Martha Cornog) wrote:
> For example, I do not see how memes are supposed to influence their
> carriers to do things -- anything -- without making some *large*
> assumptions about human behavior. Thus, the Full-Fledged Memeticist, once
> again to borrow Omar de la Cruz' expression, seems to believe that the mere
> possession of one's mind *by* a meme is sufficient to explain how and why a
> person behaves in a certain fashion. Now, in one way, this works fine --
> we can argue that if person A did X, then the meme for X seized control of
> the poor fellow's mental equipment. But then sometimes people are exposed
> to meme X and do NOT do anything. We could say that this person was
> "resistant" to meme X, but that says nothing we don't already know. Right
> now, memetics seems to lack a psychology of action or process that is
> needed to explain what memes do and how. Those are precisely the sorts of
> things that geneticists *did* work out for the genes during the 20th
> century -- and one result was the disappearance of the Platonic notion of
> gene, at least among biologists (the retention of the Platonic view in the
> popular mind is a very different issue).

/That/ is a _memetic_ issue! The Platonic view has stayed around (in
fact is active in /my/ memesphere) because it's infectious. And easier
to understand. I for one didn't understand even half of what you said in
this post.