Distinguishing the Meme Content from the Meme's Effect on the World
A survey of different scientists exploring varying metaphors to express the difference between the meme as an idea and the manifestation of the meme in society.
[Cloak] defined the i-culture as the instructions in people's heads, and the m-culture as the features of people's behaviour, their technology and social organization. he explicitly likened his i-culture to the genotype and m-culture to the phenotype... in The Extended Phenotype [Dawkins] says 'Unfortunately, unlike Cloak... I was insufficiently clear about the distinction between the meme itself, as replicator, on the one hand, and its "phenotypic effects" or "meme products" on the other' (Dawkins 1982, p. 109). He then went on to describe the meme as the structure physically realised in the brain.
Dennet (1995) also talks about memes and their phenotypic effects, but in a different way. The meme is internal (though not confined to brains) while the design it shows the world, 'the way it affects things in its environment' (p. 349), is its phenotype. In an almost complete reversal, Benzon (1996) likens pots, knives, and written words (Cloak's m-culture) to the gene, and ideas, desires and emotion (i-culture) to the phenotype. Gabora (1997) likens the genotype to the mental representation of a meme, and the phenotype to its implementation. Delius (1989), having defined memes as being in the brain, refers to behaviour as memes' phenotypic expression, while remaining ambiguous about the role of the clothes fashions he discusses. Grant (1990) defines the 'memotype' as the actual information content of a meme, and distinguishes this from its 'sociotype' or social expression. He explicitly bases his memotype/socio- type distinction on the phenotype/genotype distinction.