Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id SAA20384 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Sat, 21 Apr 2001 18:06:59 +0100 From: "Lawrence DeBivort" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: The Status of Memetics as a Science Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 13:07:23 -0400 Message-ID: <NEBBKOADILIOKGDJLPMAIEIHCCAA.email@example.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Priority: 3 (Normal) X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook IMO, Build 9.0.2416 (9.0.2910.0) X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2919.6600 In-Reply-To: <20010421162329.B1581@ii01.org> Importance: Normal Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
If by science we mean that memetics can be subjected to empirical
experimentation, the formation of hypotheses that contribute to a growing
body of reliable knowledge, and sufficiently precise observation that 'Aha'
and 'Gee, that's weird' reactions can be garnered, indeed, I think memetics
can become a science. For example, if one experiments by launching a
potential meme, and gives to it a unique and unchangeable identifier, and
then one finds the identifier showing up in the target populations, one can
conclude that the meme was launched successfully. If it spreads to
unintended populations, one can conclude that the boundary eleements of the
meme were inadequately specified. A body of knowledge begins to be built up
that can then serve to create more refined experiments.
But to become a science, this kind of research has to be done, and, I
believe, the ethical framework in which it should be carried out has to be
I have no doubt that commerically motivated lurkers read these postings and
are intent on using whatever practical gleanings they can, without what
would be IMO adequate ethical consideration. The Frontline program that I
reported on a couple of days ago here showed banks of Internet
pseudo-participants salting various chat groups with advertising messages.
All we can do here is communicate amongst ourselves as best possible while
minimising information that may be technically useful to these
pseudo-participants, and hope that we may find more secure fora in which to
have more substantive discussions and exchange of research findings.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf
Of Robin Faichney
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2001 11:23 AM
Subject: Re: The Status of Memetics as a Science
>> How does faith in memetics as a science fit in there?
> Hi, Robin, if that question is for me, I don't think of memetics as a
> science (not that it might not be approached as such by others), and have
> faith in neither science nor memetics, if I understand your use of the
> 'faith' correctly.
What I meant was faith that memetics will, or at least has the potential
to, become a science.
-- Robin Faichney
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