Memes driving behavior
I’m still poking along in Susan Blackmore’s The Meme Machine, and I came across this passage:
This difference forms the basis of a memetic theory of altruism. The essential memetic point is this – if people are altruistic they become popular, because they are popular they are copied, and because they are copied their memes spread more widely than the memes of not–so-altruistic people, including the altruism memes themselves. This provides a mechanism for spreading altruistic behaviour.
The point is that the meme is driving host behavior to benefit the meme. It may, as in this case, benefit the host as well, but that’s lagniappe.