Re: menes or gemes? (was Re: virus: Martyrdom)

David Leeper (
Mon, 27 Aug 1956 21:14:54 +0000

Martin Traynor,

> If you look at actions/attitudes deeply enough then you're probably
> right; they are all a product of the gene/meme combination. However,
> the degree to which they are inherent vs acquired can vary greatly
> and it can be useful to draw a distinction. If we use a scale;
> -1 0 1
> |------------------------------|-----------------------------|
> Gene Meme

Perhaps a third dimension should be added to this graph: physisics.
An extreme example of this would be if I were teleported to the
surface of the sun. My actions would be to burn to a crisp, regardless
of the desires of my genes and memes. More day-to-day examples
would include pollution, overcrowding and natural disasters.

If this is valid, we then have a three dimensional graph:

1 1
G| / P H Y S I C S
E| /
N| /
E| /
-1-----------0-----------1 M E M E S
/ |
/ |
/ |
/ |
-1 -1

I think this little arrangement also forms a heirarchy. Physics
creates environments in which genes may thrive. Genes create
environments in which memes may thrive.

David Leeper
Homo Deus  
1 + 1 != 2