Memristor and the Meme

Researchers at HP have developed a fourth type of fundamental circuit element called a memristor (in addition to the standard resistor, capacitor, and inductor).

The element is based on a 40 year old theory about an electronic component that could remember and mimic states it has experienced in the past, essentially a unit of memory. The memristor provides a variable level of resistance based on the amount of current it is receiving, and when the current is turned off, the memristor retains that level of resistance.

At a higher level, like a gene, the memristor is able to recognize a variety of inputs and provide consistent responses at a later time in result producing a pattern of behavior more complex than other current circuit elements.

Much like the fundamental intelligent elements that make up humans, the gene, electronic technology has gone through an iteration of evolution with the development of the memristor. I'm reminded of Richard Dawkins' work in The Selfish Gene as parallels between the memristor and his concept of the conceptual element of the Meme are really similar.