From: Bill Spight (email@example.com)
Date: Wed 30 Oct 2002 - 14:15:41 GMT
> Nor do I have to deal with people insisting that only
> external behaviors or artifacts can qualify as
> I insist you can't quantify ideas. You've
> painted yourself into a non-quantitative corner.
> But what about qualitative analysis of ideas Derek?
> Interesting but not science.
"Idea" is probably too vague for science. At the same time, number is
necessary for science, either. :-)
Consider the TIT-FOR-TAT meme for the Prisoner's Dilemma. (Or don't you
think that it's a meme, Derek?) You may think of it as a behavior, I
suppose. But it is also a strategy, and may be considered an idea or
cluster of ideas: Be nice, he clear, retaliate, reciprocate. The fact
that it is not quantitative itself does not mean that it has not been
subject of good science, even quantitative science. ;-)
Some of the best work on cultural transmission was done by Bartlett
("Remembering"), using stories and pictures. It was good science, but not particularly quantitative, either. :-)
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