Re: The selfish gene meme

Date: Thu Dec 06 2001 - 20:53:51 GMT

  • Next message: John Wilkins: "Re: The selfish gene meme"

    Received: by id UAA06828 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Thu, 6 Dec 2001 20:58:24 GMT
    From: <>
    Message-ID: <>
    Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 15:53:51 EST
    Subject: Re: The selfish gene meme
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Mailer: AOL 4.0 for Windows 95 sub 113
    Precedence: bulk

    In a message dated 12/6/2001 6:32:27 AM Central Standard Time, If Price
    <> writes:

    > Hi Aaron
    > I missedthe quote. Apologies
    > > "... 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. ..."
    > Your 'Physics' memes are showing ne c'est pas? are 'even social
    > a sub group of 'non-specialists'?

    In a message dated 12/6/2001 7:15:36 AM Central Standard Time, Vincent
    Campbell <> writes:

    > 'even social scientists'?
    > That's a bit like arguments where someone goes 'even slugs have brains, of
    > sorts'. I assume you didn't mean that in the pejorative sense? :-)
    > Vincent

    Hi If and Vincent.

    I suspect that you are trying to make a point that ambiguities can be found
    in a great many, perhaps even most uses of "plain English." But if not, let
    me clarify.

    When I say "non-specialists," I mean people who do not specialise in cultural
    transmission or evolution. This would include interested lay people such as
    Wade. It would also include people whose interest is subordinate to something
    else, -- a fund manager considering contagion forces in the stock market, for

    When I say "even social scientists," I imply that we ordinarily expect social
    scientists to prefer the most precise terms available when describing social
    phenomena. In other words, I am suggesting that the usual preferences of
    social scientists may have been circumvented by a replication phenomenon.

    --Aaron Lynch

    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 : Thu Dec 06 2001 - 21:04:42 GMT