The wisdom of Puff Daddy

I woke up this morning thinking about the word “meme.” The term was invented by Richard Dawkins to describe the “idea equivalent” of a gene. Genes pass on biological and behavioral attributes — whether a person will have red hair, for example. Memes pass on what we might call cultural attributes — the idea that you should wash your hands before eating, for example.

In some cases, genes and memes may pass on complimentary information. For example, there’s a meme that’s been going around in human society for thousands of years that it’s good to be kind to your neighbor. But there’s some argument that there is a genetic incentive for that behavior as well: this explains the “good feeling” people get when they donate to charity.

Of course, genes and memes can can also work against each other.

Genes are passed on via the sex act. Sperm fertilizes an egg and, after an incubation period, a baby containing the genetic information of both parents is born. I think you can argue that memes are passed on in a similar manner. I might say to someone, “you really should visit” This is the equivalent of me depositing semen into their brain. But, for whatever reason they might be resistant to the idea. The idea does not take hold, in the same manner that the sex act usually doesn’t lead to a new life. But, in the right situation, it can take hold. My idea/semen fertilizes their mind/egg.

In the recent comedy “Get Him to the Greek,” Puff Daddy’s character talks a lot about “mind fucking.” He’s actually using it as an analogy for a different kind of behavior, but I think that could be a good way to think about the process of passing on ideas. You are symbolically fucking another person’s brain and ejaculating your idea all over their cranial walls.

Interestingly, I just mind fucked your brain with the very idea of mind fucking.

2 Responses to “The wisdom of Puff Daddy”

  1. Eric

    Fuck me?? Fuck you!!

  2. Wil

    Is that you Eric?