RE: virus: Is the term "meme" necessary?

Richard Brodie (
Tue, 14 May 1996 10:54:34 -0700

Chip Loeber wrote:

>>Richard Brodie wrote:
>>>There has been some questioning on both lists as to the value of the
>>>term "meme" versus similar words such as "idea" or "concept." Having
>>>invested a bit of my reputation in the subtitle of my book, "Virus of
>>>the Mind: The New Science of the Meme", I'd like to argue for the
>>>usefulness of the term.
>>Ah, so you have a vested interest.

When I read that statement, I imagine you winking and smirking as if
having a "vested interest" canceled the usefulness of any statement one
could make. On the contrary, conscious living demands a vested interest
in EVERY statement one makes. If not, you're spreading unwanted memes.
[deleted mass/weight discussion which has been adequately addressed by

>>>The study of how and why memes evolve and spread will be one of the
>>>driving forces of social change over the next century; that's why I
>>>train myself to use the word "meme" and to identify them on a daily
>>Me thinks the understanding of past and new concepts and how or if they are
>>spread will have great value concerning social change within the next few
>>years, let alone the next century. I don't mean to belittle your
>>contributions or participation but I do seek clear understanding. Are you
>>with me on that point?

Your reaction as you seek to understand what added value the memetics
model has is a very common one from very intelligent and rational
people. If you keep with it and don't dismiss it, at some point it will
"click" and you'll shift into the new paradigm. I would suggest you read
my book if you haven't already.

>>BTW, I have no degrees (by choice), am self employed (as little as
>>possible), live simply and beyond my means (HELP!). I bet you've got some
>>degrees, I see you are employed by one of the most successful corporations
>>on this planet and I bet "simple" would be far from descriptive of your
You lose the bet on degrees. I dropped out of Harvard. I appreciate your
referring to Brodie Technology as one of the most successful
corporations on this planet, but I think we have a ways to go in that
regard. =) I'm not sure what a "simple" life is, but it sounds like both
of us are enjoying our lives, and that's what counts in my book. (By the
way, I actually DO have a "book" about that called "Getting Past OK"
> )

Richard Brodie 206-688-8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Seattle, WA
Do you know what a "meme" is?