Auto-Toxic Meme
XI
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A meme which is fatal to itself and its host.

Highly auto-toxic memes are self-limiting if they promote the destruction of their hosts at a greater rate than they propagate from host to host. Suicide cult memes are good examples, especially where the entire cult wipes itself out at a particular time. The system-wide suicide at YTS-556-F55-001 is a dramatic example.

Certain types of military indoctrination and 'martyrdom' meme-complexes can become auto-toxic, although in many cases the meme can spread despite the death of the host(s), and may in fact increase in strength after the host's death. Suicide squads from the Biovirate became increasingly active against Keter in the last stages of the war between those two empires, until the rate of propagation of the meme became much lower than the rate at which the hosts destroyed themselves (or were destroyed by enemy action).
 
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Development Notes
Text by Glenn Grant

Initially published on 03 November 2001.