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In a message dated 12/5/2001 10:41:08 AM Central Standard Time, If Price
> Thank you John for this example which for Andrew (he coined the term) and
> is a example of a general phenomenon - lack of fidelity of
> meaning as a good trick (sensu Dennet)in meme replication space.
For the past few years, my main page at thoughtcontagion.com has had a
comment to this effect on the propagation of the word "meme."
"... However, the ambiguity of a word with many definitions swirling around
it can actually increase its propagation, even as some scientists recoil from
it. When people are able to read into a word the meaning that most suits
them, it may increase the numbers of non-specialists and even social
scientists who adopt and use the term. ..."
What is important, in my opinion, is that any word we use serve the
scientists and their work rather than the other way around.
Interestingly, your use of the term "replication space" suggests that you are
referring to something that is defined with sufficient mathematical precision
to call for a coordinate system. Some readers will want to know in exact
quantitative terms how that space is defined, which in turn may cause them to
want to know in more exact terms how the word "meme" is defined.
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)
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