Re: virus: Re: Will The Real Meme Please Stand Up?

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Mon, 4 Aug 1997 14:54:23 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 4 Aug 1997, Ken McE wrote:

> I tend to use the language of biology when discussing memes, but should
> I? I speak of them as having life cycles, evolving, competing for
> territory, being parasites or symbiotes, but does any of this really
> apply? Biology deals with living things, things that have plans and
> desires, things that care. Am I misleading myself with the very words
> that I use to think about them?

It is just as appropriate to speak of memes competing or caring about
anything as it is to say the same of, say, amoebae. The intuitive sense
in which we find "things that have desires" different from "things that
don't" is a product of their complexity and development of self-reference,
not of their being of fundamentally different kinds.

who enthusiastically recommends _Consciousness Explained_ on this point.