RE: virus: Memes and other replicators

Richard Brodie (
Thu, 26 Jun 1997 19:55:19 -0700

Eva wrote:

>> Any attempt to explain all of culture by looking at meme replication is
>> doomed to failure. Bloom's superorganisms and Dawkins's mind viruses
>> are indeed cultural replicators that evolve to promote their own
>> survival and spread. Perhaps "memetics", if it implies that memes are
>> the be-all and end-all, is a poor name for our science after all.
>But it doesn't. Any more than any other science or philosophy assumes
>its mere existence that it covers all possibilities for understanding.
>Well, maybe some hard-line reductionist physicists do....But in the
>fields cover certain aspects of reality. Are you suggesting that
>what we're calling "memetics" does or should cover other cultural
>replicators besides memes, or are you just noting that there are some?

I was responding to a sentiment in the JoM list that is not present here
in CoV, so it's not surprising that you were surprised. There was some
squabbling over the scope of "meme." I personally am equally interested
in memes and in mind viruses -- perhaps even more in the latter.

>At any rate, cultural replicators that are not themselves memes, if I
>understand you correctly about what sorts of things those are, are
>made up of memes or supported in their replication by memes, so are
>readily includable under a "memetics" heading, in those aspects of

Right you are.

Richard Brodie +1.425.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?