virus: Meme, the Underlying Cause

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 13:14:32 -0700

Robin wrote:
>But I don't agree! Just about everyone around here seems
>to be happy to reify memes, to view them as "things", when
>for me they're theoretical constructs. Thus, any piece of
>behaviour that tends to be propagated is a meme (or meme-
>complex). The meme is not some underlying cause, as is
>the gene.

Robin, you brought the main issue here: is meme the "underlying cause"?

I was furious when, as a teenager, I first heard that out genes are using us
as their vehicles. It is so difficult to accept the fact that *we* do not
really count in the game of life -- it's only the information carried by our
genes which counts and "we are here to help". As I understand Dawkins,
exactly the same concept applies to memes, so in fact memes *are* the
"underlying cause".

In other words it is only information which really counts. Living organisms
are preserving some information, which seems to be "more important" than
life itself. With computers and the Web it seems that information will soon
"find" a better way of evolving than through bacteria and humans. This is
why I am interested in memetics.

If memes are the "underlying cause" our human minds may be limiting their
potential as much as genes were limited by one cell organisms (or even more).

Regards, Tadeusz (Tad) Niwinski from planet TeTa (604) 985-4159