Re: virus: advertising

tom.holz (
Mon, 11 Aug 1997 15:06:48 -0400

prelude: I was weak enough to pick up Lord of the Rings again--at about
6:45 this morning, Gandalf met a balrog at Khazad-Dum. Much of the rest of
my life has been on the back burner (or maybe put into the refrigorator).
Fortunately, I expect to be done with Fellowship of the Ring sometime this

>They are definately designed to reproduce and they are subject to natural
>selection -- aided by ad designers.

Just five minutes ago, my Main Thing was revealed to me in a glorious
revelation of The Possible Truth--fitness. Perhaps my renewed literary
activies are less than chanced, hmm?

Memes survive based upon fitness, which is their ability to survive long
enough to produce as many replicants as possible (though I expect that's a
simplistic glossy approximation of reality).

Addvertising memes differ in that they do not reproduce in the standard
fashion. For them, fitness involves staying alive long enough to cause
their host to buy a product, so marketeers will make more of them[1]

My Main thing has evolved from 'Advertising is memetic technology' into
several interconnecting memes involving methods of reproduction and what is
'fit' for different classes of memes.

[1] Or am I talking about <addvertising memes> which designers use to
engineer their comercials/adds/etc. After a few seconds of thought, I
think my comments fit both <add memesX>[2] and add memes. <add memes> use
add memes and other elements of various media to reproduce. Ex, the
subliminal message <add memeX>, which used various studies and professors
to reproduce.[3]

[2] I do not meme <add meme> specifically, I mean any one of the memes
which marketeers use to create adds.

[3] Am I giving to much credit to memes? "used various studies and
professors" sounds a bit much.

>Most effective memes work in parallel as well as serial. TV is certainly
>not the first medium that can communicate a meme to many people at a time
>-- writing has done an excellent job of that for thousands of years.
>Indeed, this message itself is parallel transmission of memes since it's
>going to who-knows-how-many people at once.

I think I'm going to conceed the parallel, serial thing. Mass certainly
has been around a while.

>Consider Tommy Hilfager shirts -- Tees that have just a large brand logo on
>them for Tommy Hilfager. That's a meme that reproduces often -- but doesn't
>mutate all that much.

I am a raver, and in this group, Tommy clothes are /highly/ unpopular,
because they indicate the wearer is imitating raver behavior, and not
actually hosting any raverelated memes (ie PLUR which is Peace Love Unity

Was that a practical application of memetics?!? Will soon I, too, be able
to call myself, Tom Holz (memetic engineer)? All this, plus some unrelated
answers, next week!

>This gets people talking; thus, reinforcing the meme for practically free.
>See, the ad infects only those who see it -- but if the person who saw the
>ad can infect others, that ad can indirectly affect millions of people *who
>never saw the original*. So a reproduction system is not only present, but
>of great importance!

Hmm... makes me think I was talking about <add meme X>. But instead of
conceding the point, I am about to make a stunning counter-attack--Beware!
"The exception is not the rule." hmm... sounded pretty weak. <gets sneaky>
Could you help me out?

>Example: I know (clothing brand) Tommy Hilfager is cool -- but I don't
>remember ever seeing a Tommy Hilfager commercial. I learned this

And I know it's not cool :P, and no adds told me this.

>You can argue with "4 out of 5 doctors ---" but how can you argue with --or
>miscommunicate -- "Surge!!!!!!! Feed the Rush!"?[1]
>[1]Surge: a new drink here in the U.S.

And they came the UF campus. And Lo! the Men in Florescent green did hand
out many green cans, causing much backlash, though even those who did not
like them would take the cans and drink them.

Tom Holz (apprentice memetic engineer wannabe)