Re: virus: Phenotype or Genotype?

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 14:34:51 -0700

>I was thinking today, just before the bus I was riding to work was hit by
>a truck, "What if the meme is not the genotype, but rather the
>phenotype?" What if the meme is the product of something else (neural
>substrate? neuro-chemical combinations? a higher/lower level of linguistic
>coding?) and the reason that the same meme can appear in so many
>manifestations and expressions is that these are in fact phenotypes.
Great idea. Our thoughts and concepts we exchange or pass to others are
"phenotypes" made by some undiscovered "genotypes". Both phenotypes and
genotypes are immaterial. Whatever we observe (read or hear) are the
phenotypes. The underlying causes are the genotypes.

>as such their development into "memes" from the as yet undiscovered
>"memetic genotype" is as greatly effected by the environment it developed
>in as the child is effected by the diet of the mother during pregnancy.

Rather than "memes" we can call the phenotypes "concepts", "ideas",
"cultural patterns". What would we call the undiscovered genotypes?

Memes maybe?

>Because of some previous sillinesses on this list, I feel it necessary to
>point out that I am merely offering this as a point for discussion. I
>think it could be a useful avenue to explore and may lead to some
>interesting insights about memes. But I am not saying "This is what I
>believe". I may defend this idea in order to see if it holds water, but
>that is the point, after all, of discussion.
>And I regret having to make such a disclaimer among adults.

Just between us, adults:

*** Translation ***
You guys are idiots. I don't even know why I am talking to you. I don't
know if my ideas are worth anything and it would hurt me a lot if you
criticized them. Besides, who am I to know everything? If my ideas lead to
some interesting insights about memes, remember these were my ideas. In
case you disagree with me, remember I said I did not really believe it.
Please see me as controversial but wise, as this is the best way to hide my
real self. Please!

And remember you are stupid assholes anyway.

*** End of Translation ***

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