Re: memetics-digest V1 #1005

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Fri Mar 22 2002 - 22:56:02 GMT

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    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1005
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    Hi Vincent.

    > Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 13:04:19 -0000
    > From: Vincent Campbell <>
    > Subject: RE: FW: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence
    >>>> I don't think it does anyone any good to complain about writers
    > not
    >>>> using
    >>>> scientific terms with the same rigor they are used in scientific
    >>>> publications. You have to fit the words to the purpose and the
    > audience
    >>>> you
    >>>> are writing for.>
    >>>> As longer term list member will know, as a bit of a definitional
    >>>> pedant, I couldn't really agree here.
    > <What about people who think and believe they do understand?
    >> Would you talk to first year undergrads in the same terms as third year?
    >> It doesn't do much good to complain if no one pays attention.
    >> That said, i'm not against pedantry wherever possible.>
    > Fair point. To be honest, when teaching I try to avoid using
    > jargon, or try and de-mystify it for first year students a little, but yeah,
    > with students in their final year I'd probably expect them to be familiar
    > with at least some of the jargon in the field.
    > What I would also say, though, is that in memetics where people from
    > lots of different disciplines are interested and contributing ideas etc.
    > from their own disciplines, consensus over definitions becomes particularly
    > important, if very difficult. I must admit that a lot of the articles that
    > appear in the journal go whoosh over my head as they apply models and
    > methods that I've never come across before, and don't understand, even
    > though I'm sure many of them are basic methods used in those authors'
    > fields.
    > I was going to say something else, but got interrupted by a seminar,
    > and have forgotten what it was...
    > Vincent

    I agree that tight definitions help, though given memetic drift i doubt this
    is truly possible, otherwise the OED would have only one definition per word

    I think the fact that there are many disciplines on the list make it it's
    strongest point. Just as each discipline has evolved its own language as it
    grows then so too should it for memetics.



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