RE: virus: Meme, the Underlying Cause

Robin Faichney (
Fri, 3 Oct 1997 11:04:35 +0100

> From: Tadeusz Niwinski[]
> >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.
No. The whole point was that memes do not underlay
behaviour, they are not something different from
behaviour. Or rather, that was the whole point for me.
Of course, one person's point may be different from
another's... unless you know better?

> When you wrote
> [sic]:
> "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.
I introduced that phrase... so what? I also said more than
once that it was not my concept. And I said that it is useful
in some cases and not others. Sure, I said that genes are
underlying causes, and that they are not. That was very
simply because I mistakenly thought the concept would be
useful in this case, and then I changed my mind about
that. But I wrote *so* much about causation in general,
and underlying causes in particular, that only someone
who wished to do so, could mistake my main intent here.
You look for trouble, Tad, that's what you'll find. The rest
of us are more interested in finding and building upon
areas of agreement.

> 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):
You honestly believe that I intended to mislead anyone?
That it was my plan to contradict myself, in the hope
that noone would notice? I think you project your own
deviousness upon other people. We are not all like you,
Tad, thank goodness.

> 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 feel maybe corresponding with you is a waste of time.
Except, of course, for the amusement and edification
that others may derive from it. And also, this is my
first significant enounter with you, and I will know what
to expect in future. No, not waste after all.

Now, Tad, would you like to return to memes, genes and
causation, or do you think you have disposed of that