Re: Genes versus Memes

Stephanie Wilson (swilson@BIGCAT.MISSOURI.EDU)
Wed, 9 Feb 1994 10:19:54 -0600

> Clearly just as genes and organisms are codependent, so are memes and
> cultures. Some organisms will spread certain genes more rapidly than
> others. Some cultures will spread certain memes more rapidly than others.

Could this refer, for example, to cultures that promote missionaries?

> 1). The rate of genetic replication is based on the "reproductive fitness"
> (how many offspring with the gene survive long-term) of the organism.
> 2). The rate of memetic replication is based on: 1. The communication
> infrastructure the organisms has access to... 2. The inherent replication
factor in the memetic system. Proselytizing memetic systems will spread
more rapidly than non-proselytizing ones which rely only on imitation or
'conversion.' 3. How well the meme is able to adapt to new 'system environments' (cultures.)
> 3) Memes can now be spread by non-organisms. Artificial Intelligences can
> easily do so, and have done so on the Net on numerous occasions.
> Seeker1 [@Nervm.Nerdc.Ufl.Edu] (real info available on request)
> Anthropologist, Cybernaut, PoMoDemite, Noetician, Situationiste, et al.
> University of Florida, Gainesville, Cosmic Nexus of the Universal Matrix
> "'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds!" --Malaclypse the Younger

This theory seems to fit well for religions (especially the spread of
Christianity), but it could also refer to technological innovations.
Technological information flows in similar ways from culture to culture,
with people accepting/declining information that doesn't "fit in" with
their other cultural beliefs or doesn't work as well in their environments
(i.e. appropriate technology).

Stephanie Wilson