RE: virus: Will the real meme please stand up.

Richard Brodie (
Sun, 10 Aug 1997 23:07:39 -0700

Ph.D. wrote:

> For another example of what I'm on about, what exactly has memetics done
> is new? What predictions has it made, or what new concepts has it
> None, as far as I can tell.

For me, the most interesting predictions have to do with what kind of
cultural institutions we can see in the future. One conclusion you could
easily find yourself drawing after having read one or more of the most
popular books on memetics would be that self-replicating cultural
institutions are likely to (a) proliferate and (b) evolve away from their
designers' original intent, mutating toward replicative fitness.

Let me toss out a few that I think we'll be seeing a lot more of in the
near future: Multi-Level Marketing businesses, religions evangelizing on
the Internet and more on TV, religions disguising themselves in more
palatable form, corporate "training" that's more like brainwashing or

As with genetic Darwinism, the main prediction is that the future will be
filled by the fittest replicators.

Richard Brodie
Author, VIRUS OF THE MIND: The New Science of the Meme
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