RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Fri Apr 20 2001 - 22:11:59 BST

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    Subject: RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science
    Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 17:11:59 -0400
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    From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
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    Hi Lawrence DeBivort -

    >The teenagers are not only most easily influenced, they are also flush with
    >money given to them by parents who feel guilty for their absence from the
    >kids' lives, and so good marketing marks.

    But, is it not somewhat dangerous to give those who would prey upon this
    ease of influence a new name, 'memetic engineer', (as well as invent the
    discipline, 'memetic engineering'), rather than isolate the mechanism
    itself, and allow ethics more prevalence over judgment?

    Calling a garbageman a sanitation engineer is one thing- calling a
    confidence trickster a memetic engineer (or giving solace to anyone
    utilizing such techniques in the absence of a stage) is quite another.

    - Wade


    >Wade in past conversations has
    >disagreed that such engineering is possible

    My main objection to 'memetic engineering' is not that, given enough
    facts, it is impossible, but that, until we can find, identify, and
    isolate this 'meme' thing itself, we can not prompt its design through
    technology. (And prompting design through technology is engineering.)

    And, in the realm of propaganda, and confidence-trickery, and influence,
    the terms and conditions are already in place. Therefore, presenting a
    new occupation of 'memetic engineer' is both specious and, IMHO,
    unethical. (In legal terms, irrelevant, immaterial, and incompetent.) I
    personally consider anyone who calls themselves a memetic engineer to be
    a fraud.

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