virus: RE: All = gene + meme ?

Richard Brodie (
Mon, 5 Aug 1996 10:31:08 -0700

A good post. Let me attempt to answer some of your points.

Svein Nyberg wrote:

>A somewhat more refined world-view than "gene+meme" is
>needed to understand what it is like to be human.

Actually, my point is that it is not. Of course, you'll want to
understand the ramifications of genes and memes, such as evolutionary
psychology, self-replication, natural selection, and so on.

> You
>need to account for environmental factors like how rocks
>hitting your head might change your mind [no, rocks are
>neither genes nor memes],

Whether it's rocks or words hitting your head, what's changing inside
your mind is memes. No, words aren't memes either. Memes are in your
mind. Direct mind-to-mind transmission of a meme is rare. Usually memes
are transmitted by Rube Goldberg-like chains of events.

>and also how ideas can arise
>from experiences you have all by yourself on a remote

I think this objection results from the same confusion about a need for
direct mind-to-mind transmission. Your mind creates memes all the time
in response to conditioning and cognitive dissonance. The interesting
memes are the ones that spread throughout populations, or that are
useful in achieving some life purpose.

Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA, USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?