Gene, meme and …?

I was following a discussion elsewhere and an off-hand remark regarding coding and actual physical things – software vs. hardware – made me think that it would be nice if we had a simple word/sound for that which is between genes and memes.

Genes are of course how traits are selected and inherited from generation to generation. Spreading of genes are relatively slow and work almost vertically.

Memes, as Dawkins invented the term and it has since been used, are how ideas are selected and spread (analogue to inherited) from person to person. Spreading of memes can be incredibly fast and work almost laterally.

As a developer you might fall into the trap of thinking that software is everything and if you just invent the right solution, you can spread it across the world instantly like memes.

But often a solution requires hardware, something physical and thereby also funding and construction time. Like the linked idea about upgrading all air-conditioning units in the world; a great idea but it will take time and a huge amount of funding.

This kind of spread will be faster than genetic but slower than memetic; it would work diagonally.

What would an analogous word to gene and meme be for this? It’s probably good that I’m not in a position to name something like this, because following Dawkins’ example I’d likely end up with theene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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