RE: Memes implemented, was Re: A Question for Wade

From: Price, Ilfryn (
Date: Thu Nov 29 2001 - 10:41:38 GMT

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    Subject: RE: Memes implemented, was Re: A Question for Wade
    Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 10:41:38 -0000
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    <There is a paper by Price and Lord in a recent JoM, which attempts to do
    a classification in terms of cluster analysis, which is known in
    biotaxonomy as "phenetics". This is not, in my view, useful for either
    purpose, but tat least it is a start in the right direction. [If, I know
    you are on this list - want to comment?]>

    Hi John, and thanks for the plug.

    Hard to comment without an elaboration of your view.

    1. The background to what we were trying to do in the paper is in a volume edited by Ian Mcarthy for a conference last year at Warwick. has a link to the volume or I can supply other researchers a copy.

    2. Our claim in the JoM paper was to show that a historical descent can be reconstructed from a comparison of the similarities in a
    putitative memeplex (or substitute any other term from socio-economic evolutionary perspectives over the last 100 years if you want to keep
    memes artefactual. It is compatible with but not 'proof' of the evolutionary approach to organisations (which I would see as the goal of
    memetics and if that view is not accepted then more interesting than memetics - visit for more on the general field). We have
    termed the software MENDEL (memetically enabled numerical derviation of evolutionary lineages) and trademarked it. Andrew Lord is to be
    credited with its development.

    3. I don't (if this is the source of your concern), in borrowing / exapting terms and approaches from biology, want to see the cladistics
    versus phenetics 'selection processs' (see Hull 1988) revisited. I do want to develop and test tools which make research into proposed
    organisational evolution easier.

    4. We have under review at the moment use of the same tool to analyse the development of a new market sector (outsourced FM in the UK) over
    10 years. We are also looking at using it to evaluate positions taken in literature (concerning definitons of building obsolescence but that
    is chance).

    5. As Hull said at last years Cambridge conference it is time to spend more time doing memetics than speculating about it. If sufficient
    studies grounded in a memetic stance deliver useful (to someone) insights it will prosper. If not it will return to the 'fishbowl'

    Hope this helps


    If Price
    Facilities Management Graduate Centre
    Sheffield Hallam University
    Unit 7, Science Park, Sheffield S1 1WB
    P +44 [0]114 225 4032
    F +44 [0]114 225 4038
    M +44 [0]7976 422 354

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