Re: pls direct me to a memetics list <eom>

Date: Thu May 16 2002 - 15:46:58 BST

  • Next message: Lawrence DeBivort: "RE: pls direct me to a memetics list <eom>"

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 18:31:41 -0400
    Subject: Re: pls direct me to a memetics list <eom>

    > >From: <>
    > >Reply-To:
    > >To:
    > >Subject: Re: pls direct me to a memetics list <eom>
    > >Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 09:29:15 -0400
    > >
    > >-----Original Message-----
    > >From: "Scott Chase" <>
    > >To:
    > >Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 19:21:37 -0400
    > >Subject: Re: pls direct me to a memetics list <eom>
    > >
    > > > >I have expressed on numerous occassions my interest in 'memetic'
    > > > >transmission in animals in works by de Waal, Dugatkin, and
    > Pepperberg.
    > > > >
    > > > And regaring de Waal, what's his views on memetics in _The Ape and
    > the
    > > > Sushi
    > > > Master_ again? Was he especially fond of memetics, burning with
    > > > enthusiasm
    > > > to jump on the bandwagon?
    > >
    > >No he wasn't. But I wasn't given the impression he had put a lot of
    > >thought into his criticism.
    > >
    > >Bottom line: Just because deWaal doesn't think memetics is useful to
    > him
    > >doesn't mean deWaal isn't useful to memetics.
    > >
    > What might get a lot of people worked up is that there are long
    > standing
    > social science traditions that have approached cultural and societal
    > topics
    > at various angles previous to Dawkins' and Dennett's ruminations on
    > memes,
    > yet one would think that memetics is the big revolution that's goona
    > tie
    > everything together almost devoid of acknowledgement of viability and
    > alternatives.
    > How many times have memeticists referred to concepts such as Leon
    > Festinger's "cognitive dissonance" or something I vaguely recalled on
    > the
    > recent set of replies...Irving Janis's "groupthink" concept?
    > It's like a bunch of computer science and biology afficianados have
    > latched
    > onto some novel idea, yet haven't delved into the history and theory of
    > psychology, sociology, or anthropology to see if other ideas may
    > compete
    > with, complement or converge upon the meme meme. There's more
    > rumination
    > upon the latest pop sci book and how memetics applies than earlier
    > whether
    > thought patterns of folks icluding but definitely not limited to Adolph
    > Bastian, Jacob Burckhardt, Emile Durkheim, Lucien Levy-Bruhl, Julian
    > Huxley
    > and so on might have some pertinence. People would rather dream about
    > the
    > Sante Fe institute and complexity and whose most recently published
    > memetic
    > theory of everything has toppled the prevailing paradigms.

     I guess I would fall under the 'biology afficianado' category. If you
    think that Bastian, Burckhardt, Durkheim, Levy-Bruhl, and Huxley have
    something to contribute please add it in. From the little looking I've
    done B.D. (or Before Dawkins :P) there were lots of cultural
    anthropologists and philosophers who mentioned an analogy but didn't do a
    lot with it. Agner Fog's chapter on the history of cultural selection:

     does a nice job of summarizing a lot it. I'll confess that I'm far from
    totally up to speed on all of the old guys but by all means if there is
    good stuff there lets discuss it.

    I must say that I am interested in the Sante Fe stuff. With my weak math
    skills I'm still trying to digest 'The Origins of Order' by Stuart
    Kauffman, but if there is some substance under the hype then it may have
    some applicability to memetics.

    Ray Recchia

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