Re: Standard definition

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Wed 30 Oct 2002 - 14:15:41 GMT

  • Next message: Bill Spight: "Re: I know one when I see one"

    > Aaron:
    > Nor do I have to deal with people insisting that only
    > external behaviors or artifacts can qualify as
    > "ideas."
    > Derek:
    > I insist you can't quantify ideas. You've
    > painted yourself into a non-quantitative corner.
    > Jeremy:
    > But what about qualitative analysis of ideas Derek?
    > Derek:
    > Interesting but not science.

    "Idea" is probably too vague for science. At the same time, number is not 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 the 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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