RE: virus: Meme, the Underlying Cause

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Thu, 02 Oct 1997 15:57:05 -0700

>As I already said, I used that phrase, not for what I
>believe, but for what I believe some folks believe. The
>concept of the underlying cause can be useful in
>certain circumstances, but has severe limitations. I
>agree very happily that genes are also abstractions.
>But then I also said that they are not really an
>underlying cause either.

Oh, Robin, this is the very foundation of this thread! That was the whole
point to appreciate the similarity between genes and memes. When you wrote

"The meme is not some underlying cause, as is the gene"

it was exactly your idea to bring "the underlying cause" concept to this
discussion in this context, which prompted me to start this "Meme, the
Underlying Cause" thread.

You forgot I had this program, right? :-) It took me less than a minute to
find the original (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"?

How do you feel? Yes, I do want to ask you about your feelings right now (I
am not a cold Objectivist :-) afterall). How do you feel when after 7 days
and 21 posts, I shoot you with facts?

I am mostly interested in your reaction.

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