DD's theory says there are two types of memes with two different replication strategies. Static memes replicate by suppressing criticism of themselves (and sometimes also of other ideas). Rational memes replicate by being useful.
I propose instead that there are three types of memes.
- Rational, useful memes.
- Static memes that suppress criticism and creativity.
- Static companion memes that do not suppress creativity or criticism themselves but are adapted to replicate in an environment where they are suppressed.
The additional category is a companion meme which requires criticism suppression but relies on other (static) memes doing it.
I think static companion memes have a variety of replication strategies rather than being defined by one. One possibility is being highly adapted to appear useful to people who aren't critically thinking.
In a fully static society, not all memes have to follow the replication strategy of suppressing criticism of themselves. The reason is the reach of knowledge (another concept explained in BoI). Some static memes do (partially or fully) general purpose criticism suppression rather than only suppressing criticism of themselves.
I think there is basically a core of some powerful static memes which are very effective at suppressing criticism in general. Once those exist, other memes don't need to suppress criticism of themselves because criticism isn't happening anyway. So they can evolve to compete for replication bandwidth in other ways.
A further complication, which blurs the categorization of memes into two or three types, is that ideas can be like code libraries from programming which provide callable APIs. In order to suppress criticism of itself, idea B can call a library function provided by idea A. However, if the host has idea B without having idea A, then that function call doesn't work and B fails to suppress criticism of itself. In this case, much of the knowledge of criticism suppression is outsourced, however idea B is able to actively suppress criticism of itself in the right environment.
Another complication is that there need not be a black and white dividing line between static memes and static companion memes. A meme can do some of each: it can be adapted partly to suppress criticism and partly adapted to do something else (such as appearing useful or good to non-critical thinkers). I'd guess that many memes are mixed because the core of criticism suppressing memes remove some but not all of the selection pressure on other memes to optimize for criticism suppression. That allows them to adapt for other purposes too, and some may entirely lose their criticism suppression. This other adaptation would be to better compete with other memes for replication bandwidth in a static society environment. Once criticism is largely suppressed, the amount the typical meme replicates won't have much to do with how well that memes suppresses criticism.
Memes replicate in two different ways. Within a mind and between minds.
Memes must replicate between minds to last over time.
Critical Rationalism says we learn by doing evolution of ideas within our mind.
Do static memes replicate within a mind? That sounds potentially bad because they'd make progress and change, not stay static. But it depends on what selection pressure they're being exposed to. If a static meme could control the selection then it could use within-mind replication to get more optimized. This would be different than suppressing criticism (DD's idea of static memes). It'd be changing the nature of the criticism instead.
If static memes simply suppress criticism, they can't get more adapted by within-mind evolution. But if they could instead control the types of criticism, then they can benefit from within-mind evolution.
So I'm thinking static memes do within-mind evolution in some cases while keeping control over the selection (criticism). I think that's a significant way static meme theory is incorrect.