Re: memetics/memics/mimetics

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Tue 27 Jan 2004 - 00:54:57 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "emetics (was Re: memetics/memics/mimetics)"

    >From: M Lissack <>
    >Subject: Re: memetics/memics/mimetics
    >Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2004 07:21:39 -0800 (PST)
    >In an effort to move this dialogue into a more
    >constructive phase please consider the following:
    >Memes as a descriptive term is fine as is.
    >Memetics -- if it is to be a science or a field of
    >study -- must be concenrned with more than
    >explications based on descriptive terms.
    >Memetics is presently stuck in a "bad space" due its
    >reliance on the descriptive and intutive qualities of
    >the indexical term "meme" as its unit of analysis.
    >A memetics which uses as its unit of analysis a term
    >or terms which have functions, qualities, mechanisms,
    >constraints, and processes which are directly
    >observable and measurable will make greater advances
    >in pursuit of both science and study.
    >I have suggested catalytic indexicals as such a term.
    >Other terms may prove to eb better.
    Without getting bogged down in the lexicon of emetics, I'd say there are words for things that memeticists are trrying to address that haven't lost their luster or if they haven't established a luster, they are inthe same boat as memes.

    There's nothing wrong with looking at artifacts and leaving it at that. Or there's the non-comittal triad of artifacts socifacts and mentifacts. With socifacts we could look at things through the prism of the evil SSSM's great bogeyman (for EP'ers that is) Emile Durkheim and his elusive "collective representations". What would memetics offer that gets us any closer to reality than that? For mentifacts we could go with the no less elusive engram (or mnemon) for which memory researchers have been fishing.

    There's always idea and concept. What's wrong with these words?
    >Such a memetics is still concerned with the
    >descriptive arena of memes but is no longer
    >constrained by the problems of an overloaded
    If Darwin got by without a concept of the "gene" (gemmules notwithstanding) when exploring the the ins and out of descent with modification, why do we need the "meme". Why put the cart before the horse?

    And don't get me started on my pet peeve of selectionism. There seems to be much conflation of evolution with selection in these here parts.

    Memetics might suffer from being bogged down with units and with adaptionism.
    >I would suggest that my article, Derek's article of
    >1998, and Bruce's challenges be reread in light of the
    >Bruce's challenges can be found at:

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