From: derek gatherer (email@example.com)
Date: Thu 31 Oct 2002 - 08:47:47 GMT
Fortunately, I never expected use of the word "idea"
technical definition of the term "thought contagion"
term "belief," etc. to solve our complicated
on matters of data collection and quantitative
ideas, behaviors, artifacts, and so forth.
No, we don't have a "disagreement" on matters of data
collection and analysis. I do it and you don't. Your
recent articles are really just opinion pieces.
There's never a model with any numerical prediction,
never a chunk of data from the real world (other than
the odd single statistic from someone else's work),
never a simulation showing how your 20-year old
mathematical work actually relates to the real world.
The reason for this is that you are trapped by your
own theoretical framework - you're in a kind of
data-free vacuum where all that's left is to dream up
thought contagionist explanations for various things
that appear in the newspapers. I'd really like to see
you give us an extensive paper where your equations
get a real parametric work-out, and some real-world
data is tackled (if it can be - that's what I doubt).
All this soundbite artist stuff is all very well, I
mean there's nothing wrong with being a media
personality, I'm not saying that it's morally
reprehensible to be a popularizer - quite the contrary
- but you'll always be a one-man band unless you can persuade the real hard-core scientists to adopt your theoretical framework, and that requires you to get your sleeves rolled up and do some work that goes beyond your usual "X is a thought contagion, and here's a few paragraphs containing arguments of varying degrees of plausibility" stuff. I want to see an article with some figures, some tables, some graphs, give me some software to download! You know what I mean. There's a community of memeticists and social simulators out here. Why not join us? But the price of entry is to marry theorizing with data.
Oh yes and another thing. What's all this nonsense
about changing the name of the journal? Since you
claim not to be a memeticist any more why are you so
bothered what the main memetics journal is called?
Start a "Journal of Thought Contagion Theory".
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