RE: meme as catalytic indexical

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Tue 27 Jan 2004 - 16:49:34 GMT

  • Next message: Vincent Campbell: "RE: memetics/memics/mimetics"

    M Lissack wrote:

    > There is no established "definition" of a meme. There is a
    > loose collection of fuzzy notions which all share the label
    > or word token "meme."

    I think there are only a few people in the world who really understand memes. To them it's not fuzzy, but I concede there are many more people who don't get it than who do. You could say the same about genetic evolution, on an even larger scale.

    > Science does not advance by treating definitions as given but
    > by questioning always questioning definitions.

    Great. Start by questioning yours.

    > Your web site fails to point to much of anything post the
    > year 2000. Do you believe that all worthy work (save your
    > own postings) stopped then? Do you really believe that a
    > book you wrote more than a decade ago was prescient enough to
    > answer challenges raised after the book was written?

    I haven't seen anything that would change the popular explanation of the basics of memetics, which is what my book is about. But it's odd you would comment on a book you haven't even read.

    > Yes I am challenging the "conventional wisdom." I am not the
    > first nor will I be the last. You as a self proclaimed
    > author of that "convention" are much more interested in
    > defending your territory than in addressing the many
    > questions which get raised here and in other forums.

    I have no territory and if you read the first 27 pages of my book you would know that I credit others with the definition of meme and certainly don't claim it for myself. My book is simply an attempt to lay it out for interested laypeople.

    > So for the last time I ask you again to respond to Bruce's
    > challenges with something other than hubris or platitudes. If
    > you have no interest in memetics as an academic field fine.
    > If you think Bruce has raised unnecessary issues tell us why
    > you think so. If you think Bruce's challenges can be easily
    > answered tell us how to do so. If you think Bruce's
    > challenges are invalid tell us why. But stop answering by
    > telling us that you said all that in Virus of the Mind. You
    > did not and you could not because Bruce's challenges came much later.

    I've said before Bruce's challenges are a fine pointer for interested people to flesh out with data what we suspect is a useful theory. I don't see how your proposed redefinition of meme addresses them. It seems to address your misunderstanding of the Intentional Stance.

    Richard Brodie

    =============================================================== 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) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed 28 Jan 2004 - 10:13:03 GMT