Genes, Memes, And The Inescapability Of Both

Packy McCormick’s got a great piece out called, “The Current Financial Thing.” It’s about when pessimism is in vogue.

We’ve all got our own views, logic, and opinions. Packy’s looking at how those stack up and move all sorts of markets.

Richard Dawkins introduced the word “meme” in the 1970s. Dawkins wanted to relate how biological genes are reproduced and evolved over time to what he called cultural memes that behaved in a similar way (reproducing and evolving as stories and beliefs shared by multiple people).

Packy reminds us that memes aren’t just meme stocks or Smith/Rock slap images, they’re every “current new thing” we culturally hop aboard (or disdain from the sidelines).

Just like every living organism has genes, every story or sensation is a meme.

Not just what’s labeled a meme.

Every. Story. Multiple. People. Believe.

It’s not a discrediting word, it’s an understanding of a new-new thing, an old-new thing, or a new-old thing.

I highly encourage reading Packy’s piece, revisiting Ben Thompson’s Stratechery post that inspired it (“The Current Thing”), and if you haven’t, read Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene (because it’s still an incredible book all these years later).