mental viruses


"Just as genetics focuses on the gene, memetics centers around the "meme," which can be thought of as a unit of information. Examples of memes can include stone tool-making, language, the song "Happy Birthday," democracy, or last year's out-of-nowhere "all your base are belong to us." What matters is not the content of the meme per se, but how effectively the meme can get itself copied. Just like a gene can only survive by putting itself into a new generation, a meme can only prosper by squeezing itself in new brains. In that way, memes are like mental viruses, but without necessarily negative effects." by John August

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