Re: Standard definition

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Fri 25 Oct 2002 - 20:42:06 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: Meme-physics"

    Dear Grant,

    > That sounds a bit like talking about computer programs without mentioning
    > their relationship to the computer. If we're not going to talk about what
    > memes do and how they do it, what's left to talk about? Culture is composed
    > of memes, but I supose it's enough to say that people create them and
    > contribute them to the culture. What else do we need to know? In fact, why
    > bother to talk about them at all?

    Pianist Artur Rubenstein said, "Technique is so your fingers don't get in the way of the music."

    Definitions should be enabling. Defining a meme as a unit of cultural inheritance does not preclude debate about the nature and existence of memes. In fact, it enables the debate by not prejudicing it. :-)

    At the same time, it enables those who want to get on with memetics research to do so, whether they are studying language learning, social or economic game playing, family interactions, or institutional change, to name a few areas of research. All of these have entities that can be identified as units of cultural inheritance, regardless of more specifically what kind of thing they are considered to be.

    Definition is not the end of discussion, it is the beginning. :-)



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