RE: meme as catalytic indexical

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Sat 24 Jan 2004 - 22:12:20 GMT

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    M Lissack wrote:

    > No Richard asking for evidence that a definition makes sense
    > is not nonsensical except perhaps withr egard to religious
    > belief. You are willing to assert that the meme is what
    > replicates but have no basis for the assertion.

    It makes sense to many people, but apparently not to you. If you've read my book and it still doesn't make sense I doubt it ever will. My heart is heavy with sorrow that I was unable to reach you.

    However, if you want to talk about something that is a semiotic sign of something that replicates, why not choose another word? Meme is quite overloaded already.

    > The evidence
    > you cite can be used to support the idea that the meme is the
    > semiotic sign of something else which replicates. If
    > memetics is to advance it has to be able to find a way to
    > make this distinction other than through naked assertion.

    I don't know that memetics needs to advance. I'm quite happy with it as is. I make decisions knowing that anything I say or write has the potential to spread, and that there are things I can do to make that more or less likely. I recognize replicating bits of culture and their potential usefulness or danger. I explain to other people how to do that. I really don't have any feeling one way or the other about semiotic signs but every few months somebody comes in here and for some reason tries to redefine "meme." I or someone else generally pipes up, if only for the record.

    > I commend the depth of the tautological belief but I question
    > the need for the tautology. Darwin mechanics can be tested.
    > The meme as replicator mechanics cannot. Reasoning by
    > analogy can only go so far. If memetics is but analogy then
    > its fate is truly limited.

    I just explained to you why Darwinism is not a tautology. Did you understand that? Of course the replication of ideas can be tested; in fact, it is tested every day is schoolrooms throughout the world.

    Richard Brodie

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