RE: achieving audio and visual fidelity

Richard Brodie (
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 12:26:35 -0700

From: "Richard Brodie" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: achieving audio and visual fidelity
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 12:26:35 -0700
In-Reply-To: <>

MemeLab wrote:

(re phemotype)

<<Has anyone else thought about this things?>>

Actually your post spurred a very interesting new thought in me. Right now,
memes are reproducing largely without benefit of an analogue to embryology.
Fads sweep the country; MLM groups compete, religions persist and
evangelize, and so on. It's a sea of memetic germ diffusing in different

But the DNA replicator (sorry Mario, I just don't get your objection to the
orthodox use of the word "replicator" to denote the intentional stance)
found it useful to develop embryos. Organisms that marshaled their influence
to become more and more powerful beings, then mated, regrouped, and spawned,
had a catastrophic advantage over simple diffusing seed.

Will this happen in memetics? Has it happened? Is the "reinventing" meme the
start of it?

Landmark Education, an evangelistic personal-growth group on which I have
written before, reinvents itself every few years by rewriting its charter
and vision statements. It's not really a new "organism" yet, though, because
of the inertia of having most of the same members carry over to the next
"generation." But what if some central committee, using some criteria of
success, spawned several evangelistic groups with different charters and
every few years recombined pieces of the successful ones, spawning wholly
new groups?

THAT would be a phemotype.

Thank you "Jake," whoever you are.

Richard Brodie
Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme"
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