RE: Selfish memes ?

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Tue Feb 05 2002 - 01:43:50 GMT

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    At 04:52 PM 04/02/02 -0800, "Joe Dees" <>


    >Memes simply cannot be selfish because they are not self-reflective, i.e.
    >they cannot say to themselves "I'd better take this action in my own
    >self-interest". Memes do not possess intention. They simply mutate, that
    >is, they are intentionally or inadvertantly mutated by us, their hosts,
    >and the mutations that are better at both hooking into the cognitive
    >environments of others and penetrating others' existing memetic filters
    >disproportionately replicate.


    The "outside" view of this process without looking at the details looks
    like the memes are "striving" to their own ends. But as Joe points out,
    memes don't have intention.

    For all the usefulness of viewing the world from the "viewpoint" of a meme
    or a gene, it sure has led to some weird anthropomorphizing.

    Keith Henson

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