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

Brett Lane Robertson (
Tue, 28 Oct 1997 21:10:56 -0500

Given that everyone has slightly different brains, shouldn't we expect
memes with the same semantics (i.e. different instances of the same meme)
to have different syntax (i.e. physical patterns) in different brains?

David McFadzean


This would seem to depend on whether behavior or meme is dominant. For you
might as easily ask that given the different shades of brown eyes wouldn't
the alliel for eye color be located differently in different genes; yet,
we've determined that genes are the predecessor of traits (so we don't
expect to find that the appearence of a trait somehow circularly affects the
gene which produced it). I say that the meme is dominant similar to the gene.

Likewise, if memes are related to behavior (and this could include mental
behavior...the firing of neurons; since, many studies seem to indicate a
correspondenc between human behavoior and brain wave patterns--otherwise,
firing of neurons is *still* behavior of a sort)...if memes are related to
behavior it would be necessary to determine which influenced the other and
to what extent.

This takes us back to the question of which is the meme, behavior or
pattern. If behavior, then the pattern is most likely secondary...memetic
behavior would change the pattern (of the brain...perhaps causing it to
appear differently in different folks). If the meme is a pattern, then the
*pattern* would be primary and the physical pattern would be more-or-less
the same from brain to brain.

I am the "pattern" that I define the meme as that which influences
behavior but which is not influenced by behavior (though I see the
psuedo-meme as being flexable and/or the virus). So, I would predict that
the memetic pattern would be more alike than different in all brains (and I
doubt whether the statement "everyone has slightly different brains" has
much to say about the I also doubt that it has much truth to it).


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Northern charm. -- John F. Kennedy