From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Wed 10 Dec 2003 - 04:22:43 GMT
At 08:13 PM 08/12/03 -0800, you wrote:
>and Keith your devoted enemies have reached thousands as many people as
>you ---- but i'll bet you are sure they are wrong and you are right
>having a significant group of followers does not "right" make
>you of all people should know that
You misunderstand my relation to scientologists. I don't consider them
enemies. They are victims of Hubbard's memes in the same sense
tuberculosis patients are victims of mycobacteria. It does not make sense
to consider a TB victim an enemy. It does not make sense to consider
scientologists and other cult members, even the followers of Bin Laden as
enemies. Deluded, yes, dangerous, yes. Sadly you may have to kill them if
they can't be cured of their delusions, but enemies, no.
You are correct about numbers of followers. It doesn't matter how high a
fraction of the US population believes in angels or ETs, there still isn't
any evidence for them.
But with respect to "meme," or any other word, when a large number of
people use it in an established way, it is confusing and counterproductive
to communication to attempt to change the definition to something
different. If you need to refer to a new concept, use a phrase or make up
a new word, something I notice you did in the essay with "glom."
Your inversion of usual word order induced me to look you up on the net. I
cannot tell from what I found if you are a native speaker of English or
not, but you have impressive credentials. (I know only one other person
with your kind of experience.)
I share your concerns about many of the same social issues, particularly
the redefining of business ethics in recent decades. (Shades of
scientology ethics!) The schools that educated Enron executives should be
disgraced and made to suffer--perhaps on the scale of the Anderson
The Amazon excerpt from your book, _The Next Common Sense_, flows nicely.
Your essay at http://emergence.org/redefinition.pdf from which you quoted a
bit on this mailing list sounds like it was written for a philosophy
journal, which I suppose it was. After wading through the prose, I still
disagree with your proposal to redefine memes and memetics.
Memes/memetics is a very simple concept, that Darwinian evolution applies
to elements of culture. It so simple it is verified a thousand times over
just from common knowledge and trivial thought experiments. There is no
need to make it more complicated, not even much need to test it. You just
apply it as a tool to help understand the part of the world where memetics
Ghod knows that study gets complicated in a hurry.
If people want, we can take this off line.
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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