RE: virus: Re: Memes are necessarily hosted by sentient beings?

Vicki Rosenzweig (
Tue, 11 Jun 96 09:39:00 PDT

I don't know that copying an idea (like a web) from a non-sentient animal
makes that animal a meme-carrier. But I have a related question: what about
birds that learn sounds?

There are a lot of mockingbirds in my neighborhood. A just-fledged one
was hopping around this morning (on stubby little wings), and making a
sort of "peep, peep" noise. Older mockingbirds sing. The point, though,
is that they don't sing a standard mockingbird song. They sing the songs
of whatever birds they've been exposed to. If I hear a robin, or a cardinal,
or a bluejay, there's always the chance that I'm really hearing a
that heard one of those birds, or that learned the robin song from another
mockingbird. That looks a lot like meme transmittal. (Some mockingbirds
have also learned the sound of car alarms.)

Vicki Rosenzweig