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

Robin Faichney (
Sun, 26 Oct 1997 11:18:04 -0000

> From: David McFadzean[]
> At 02:01 PM 10/25/97 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:
> >If all of these people think information must either be in a mind,
> >or in an external representation, then I guess maybe I do have
> >something to contribute to memetics, after all. What do you
> >think, David? (Don't feel you have to respond if you don't see
> >what I'm getting at.)
> Are you suggesting that memes, as information patterns, can
> have an existence independent of minds and external representations?
Yes! I think Dawkins' first conception of memes was as
patterns of behaviour. Assuming Richard is right to say
he, like these other Big Memeticians, now sees them as
"in the mind", I think that switch must be due to an
insight into the ultimate inseperability of what goes on
"in here" from what we do "out there". But if we recall
that "meme" is just a word, that can be used in any
way we want, *and* accept the reality of information
and of patterns, we can eliminate the subjectivity of
considerations of what's "in the mind", and the dualism
of saying memes must be either in it or out in the
world, by seeing that it's all patterns, both of actual
behaviour in the world at large *and* of potential
behaviour within the brain (not the mind), and we
can use "memes" for either behaviour or potential
behaviour or both -- that's just a matter of convention
(though it would be convenient to agree on it).

Hey, remember I said it first! Anyone else who
claims this one for themselves gets sued! (And
David can confirm I'm already well into establishing
a good theoretical basis for this stuff -- though I
wouldn't expect to get my book published for a year
or two yet.)

Hey, David, how secure is the archive?

Robin the paranoid designer of fine memes
who has a living to make