Re: What happened to the journal of memetics?

From: Agner Fog (
Date: Sun 20 Feb 2005 - 10:38:39 GMT

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    Keith Henson wrote:
    >The same is true of talking about non discrete information units, you will alienate the people who know information theory

    I didn't mean non-discrete information units. I am talking about quantitative - as opposed to qualitative - variables.
    Memetics, as I understand it, is about dichotomous choices. You can either acquire a meme or not. A company can either exist or not. Memetics can handle a theory of companies popping up and disapearing, but not a theory of a market where the number of companies is constant but some companies are growing and others are shrinking. This is the limitation I want to get rid of.

    >>Memetics, like other evolutionary theories, is a theory of things
    >>happening as controlled by an "invisible hand"
    >That's an almost mystical way of describing it. At the heart of it,
    >evolution is simple, random variation and non random selection.

    Don't misunderstand me. I am not talking about magics. The invisible hand is a metaphor for mechanisms that make things happen without conscious planning. This is where memetics and other evolutionary theories have their strength. The results of planning can be explained by rational choice theory without using memetics. If we want to convince social scientists that memetics is useful (which many of them strongly deny) then we need to point out phenomena that cannot be explained by other theories. =============================================================== 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:

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