Re: Memetic methodology

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sun 24 Nov 2002 - 15:06:02 GMT

  • Next message: Lawrence DeBivort: "RE: Memetic methodology"

    This project sounds promising. I hope you'll keep us informed.

    >A quick thought on memetic methodology.
    >If one views a meme as having an essential linguistic construct, and that
    >the expression of the meme is half the act of transmission, and adoption by
    >another person is the second half, then indeed it would seem that we have a
    >measurable phenomenon, and one that we can use to determine the
    >effectiveness of a meme (its transmission), and its performance when it
    >comes up against countervailing memes.
    >Using this approach, I have been able to track and map the dissemination of
    >a couple of memes through a society, and also track the mutations that
    >to the meme as it is disseminated.
    >There is a formal research project underway in memetics, by one of our list
    >members. Memes are being tracked in a locality, with a control group, and
    >measures made of the behavioral impacts of the meme. I think the results
    >be reported in approximately a year. Preliminary reports look promising.
    >Best regards to all,
    > > -----Original Message-----
    > > From: []On Behalf
    > > Of Douglas Brooker
    > > > > I thought for a while that deconstruction had something to
    > > offer for the
    > > > analysis of memes, but now I'm not so sure. Looking at all the ways
    > > > >in which a meme is being used and all the antecedants it
    > > carries with it
    > > > >seemed promising for a while, but now I can't see where it
    > > will lead to any
    > > > >concrete results. Each person uses the meme he/she picked up
    > > in his own way
    > > > >and in conjunction with his/her own baggage of associated
    > > ideas. The usage
    > > > >is different for each person each time it is used. I can't
    > > see what's in
    > > > >anyone's head to make comparisons with the memes they are
    > > using. We can
    > > > >only compare the use of a meme with the memepool at large
    > > because it's out
    > > > >in the open. That's what deconstruction was about.
    > > >
    > > > That is right and that is why the search for quantifiable data is
    > > > problematic, IMO in memetics.
    > >
    > > it's not a serious problem in linguistics, so why should in be in
    > > memetics? you just need a sound data collection methodology that is
    > > memetics specific. what seems to be a problem, based on my rather small
    > > knowledge of memetics, is creating a meme-specific theory that is
    > > amenable to 'field' work that facilitates the creating of hypotheses and
    > > testing them against observable data. talking about the 'religion' meme
    > > or the 'terrorist' meme in very general terms, often just a disguised
    > > political discourse, verges on the inane after awhile, unless it is the
    > > object of your study.
    > >
    >This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    >Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    >For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

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