Re: virus: A Rich Inherent Dance

Neco and Jeff (
Sat, 02 Aug 1997 05:43:51 -0700

Tim Rhodes wrote:

> Often we run several of these at once. One I've found amusing to use, of
> late, is to note how often a term or phrase I've introduced into the
> conversation is employed by the other person(s) and how long it takes for
> it to come back. Mentally tallying when my words are spoken back to me by
> another.

It would be interesting to also take note of what sorts of mutations
those memes are going through as they get passed around and before they
make their way back to you. Do you ever notice a higher level of
'fitness' in a phrase (or the concept behind it) that has returned to
you as compared with when it was introduced into the reproductive frenzy
of the memetic landscape? Since it has survived long enough to make its
way back and since the chances of it returning 100% in tact are pretty
slim, my guess would be that they often become even fitter memes. Of
course fitter doesn't necessarily mean that they are communicating your
original ideas any better, and I suspect that more often than not the
opposite is probably true. But they are probably a bit more of whatever
it is that makes a meme fitter than its rival memes. In fact, (as if
this question hasn't been asked probably a million times in this
mailing, and possibly even answered a few,) what exactly is it that
makes a meme fit? Fit for what?