RE: virus: The One or the Many? (was: META)

Robin Faichney (
Sat, 25 Oct 1997 14:01:03 +0100

> From: Eva-Lise Carlstrom[]
> On Thu, 23 Oct 1997, Robin Faichney wrote:
> > > From: David McFadzean[]
> > >
> > > It is like the difference between blues eyes and the
> > > genes for blue eyes, phenotypes and genotypes. Why would
> > > you want to merge the two concepts in memetics?
> > >
> > Because they're not different things there?
> > This stinks of taking metaphors too literally,
> > to me.
> You don't think a thought and an expression of a thought (such as an
> action or statement) are different things? You don't think my
> utterance
> and its effect on you are different things?
If thoughts and the like are memes, memetics will never
be a science, because these things are subjective. I
thought Dawkins was quite clear in what he originally
wrote that this was all objective, wholly "out there".
What happens inside heads is just storage and mutation,
and as in genetics, these are essential, but the details as
to how they happen are outside of genetics and
memetics. That's why, despite saying this..

> > Actually, I'm beginning to suspect quite strongly
> > that whether memes are actually behaviour, or
> > something else, is not a well-formed question.
...I'm still inclined to view memetics as primarily about