Re: RS

From: Douglas Brooker (
Date: Thu 04 May 2006 - 19:59:12 GMT

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    Robin Faichney wrote:

    >Thursday, May 4, 2006, 5:59:25 PM, Wade wrote:
    >>The way I see it, the fundamental concept is that of "pattern".
    >Information is more fundamental. A sequence of bits might be random or
    >patterned, but a pattern is always information. A genuine
    >understanding of the fundamentals of memetics will require a full
    >understanding of the relationships between mind, matter, information,
    >causation and other such phenomena. That's what I'm working on. Of
    >course I might be hopelessly over-ambitious, but the way I see it,
    >somebody has to do it!

    have you thought of including the idea of "attribution" alongside
    'causation', if only for quality control purposes? I know the distinction from Niklas Luhmann' Sociological Theory of Law - confusing attribution and causation is a pretty endemic phenomena in legal theory. It's what divides Law-as-a-Humanity and Law-as-a-Social-Science.

    Chris' earlier comment made me think of the distinction. He wrote, "So, to the point: It is a priori impossible to 'replicate' _any_ 'meme'. There is no such thing as a meme per se, it is just a useful approximation for (the result of) a patterning process."

    Also, the comments about what is the unit of 'information' raise the attribution issue - cf comments on the boundaries of the "baseball" meme. Can a definition of the unit of information being studied be anything more than an author's attribution? Either you have some kind of 'real' documented chain of causation - which involves objectively identifiable phenomena/data, or you don't. If you don't, then the discourse begins with interpretation, something deemed for the purposes of a study to be the object of study.

    Is memetics through this necessary attribution a "Humanity" rather than a Science, or a "Social Science"? (at least at this time?)

    Can't say I have an answer, but it might be a point that gets close to the difficulty of defining memetics as a discipline.

    Douglas Brooker University of London

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