RE: Wilkins on the meme:engram relation

From: Price, Ilfryn (
Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 16:27:35 GMT

  • Next message: Wade Smith: "Re: Dean Kamen's machine: Segway aka Ginger aka It"

    Received: by id QAA00285 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Mon, 3 Dec 2001 16:32:16 GMT
    Message-ID: <>
    From: "Price, Ilfryn" <>
    To: "''" <>
    Subject: RE: Wilkins on the meme:engram relation
    Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 16:27:35 -0000
    X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
    Precedence: bulk


    > Murray Gell-Mann could have made a mess of the word "quark"
    > if he either
    > wanted to or if he simply did not treat the matter seriously
    > enough. Dawkins
    > could have made less of a mess of the word "meme," too. Even
    > if he had
    > explicitly defined it in some way radically different from
    > anything he has
    > said so far, I think all of us would have been better served
    > by at least
    > knowing what role if any the word should play in our scientific
    > communications.

    Nobel laureates find it easier to cross boundaries, though Murray Gell-Mann does also have the Santa Fe Institute to fall back on. Here once
    again is his take on the issue, with societies as a sub class of Complex Systems: i.e., for Murray, systems where order is enabled by
    replicating 'schemata'

    "In the case of societal evolution, the schemata consist of laws, customs, myths, traditions, and so forth. The pieces of such a schema are
    often called memes"

    Gell-Mann, M. (1996) Address to the US National Defence University

    I read that as support for 'memetics' as short hand for 'evolutionary societal schematics' and as Jojh pointed out a few messages back,
    there is more future in trying to design and apply various approaches to such a science than worrying now about the precise definition of
    'meme'. When (if) we knwo more we will find the right "neologisms".

    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

    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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Dec 03 2001 - 16:38:31 GMT