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If citing Gell Mann
> > "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 http:// <http://>
> > www.dodccrp.org/comch01.html
> > I read that as support for 'memetics' as short hand for
> > 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".
> Hi If.
> I am not sure that Gell-Mann was trying to settle a
> definition issue for
> memetics. If he was, his use of the terms "schema" and
> "schemata" become
I was not saying he was. Whatever we call them the replication of the kind of phenomena he was talking about is what interests me, and meme
is as good a collective noun as any and the only one with its origins in a general theory of evolution.
> That said, I will add that if Gell-Mann had made a mess of
> the word "quark,"
> quantum chromodynamics would most likely still have
> developed, even if under
> a different name.
Agreed and in the world of nobel prize winning thermodynamics precise definition is a precondition of replication. In the world of internet
discussion and even the emergence of a research based study of memetics it is less important. Evolutionary Theories of Social Science (ETSS)
have staggered along without agreeing what exactly it was that replicated for a long time. Some, though not all, of the contributors to ETSS
<http://www.etss.net> are making the same suggestion.
One can think of all sorts of vague ways
> that Gell-Mann
> might have coined a word, perhaps referring to almost any subnuclear
> particle, for instance. But if he had, then physicists would
> have probably
> ignored the term and some other term would have emerged in
> connection with
> very similar theoretical constructs.
That's part of the schema / meme plex of physics
> There may be areas of cultural evolution research that really need a
> neologism corresponding to a specific theoretical construct
> or concept. If
> the word "meme" is used in those lines of research, I think
> it will be
> important for readers to be able to see that a neologism is
> needed or at
> least extremely useful for communication.
ETSS has not yet (and may not) reached the stage of development / evidence where the space esists for the neoloogistic precison of quantum
physics. Until it does Gell Mann's generalisation works for me.
Reactions such as
> the quote Scott
> Chase gave us from Ernst Mayr suggest that many readers do
> not see how the
> word "meme" is necessary for good communication. That, in
> turn, leads readers
> into the whole distracting subject of "why coin this new
> word?", which is
> only a part of the distraction that has arisen around the word.
Substitute 'concept' for meme in the quote above. It does not seem quite so precise somehow.
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