RE: playing at suicide

From: Richard Brodie (
Date: Fri Jan 11 2002 - 23:44:49 GMT

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    Subject: RE: playing at suicide
    Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 15:44:49 -0800
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    <<I thought Dale Carnegie was very
    germane to the conversation as he teaches a course on the value of using a
    persons name to influence his behavior, which is one of the primary reasons
    why people use that meme.>>

    Dale Carnegie died in 1955, Grant, and no longer teaches courses. The
    organization (mind virus) he created lives on and spreads certain memes,
    including those necessary to perpetuate the organization. (This does not
    imply any judgment on my part as to the value of the teachings.)

    <<I am defending my theory because the only way to test it against other
    is to defend it. My objective, though, is not to sell it, but to test it.
    The parts of it I can't defend I will discard.>>

    Why do you want to come up with your own theory, Grant, rather than learn
    what other people are already excited about?

    << I did find it ironic that a
    man in business where a name is one of the most important commodities he
    owns would use that as an example of a meme that is not a tool.>>

    I'm pleased I amuse you, Grant. After you're done being entertained, though,
    suppose you think for a minute about what I might have meant when I said
    "given names are a nice example of memes that spread without much regard to
    their utility to the host." From that you somehow came up with "there's no
    value in using people's names in sales situations." Do you think those two
    statements are equivalent, Grant?

    Several times now, Grant, I've noticed you engaged in what I would
    categorize as "level jumping." I was talking about specific given names,
    like Grant and Richard, as memes. You responded by discussing the
    distinction-meme "name." The first are examples or instances of the second.

    <<I'm sorry
    if my sense of irony offended you.>>

    I take no offense at your irony, Grant, but I do object to your attempt to
    hijack the word "meme."

    << You use your name to promote your
    busines and your ideas every day of the week.>>

    I see you spelled "busines" with one "s." What was your purpose in doing

    By the way, I think you have an inaccurate picture of who I am and how I
    spend my time.

    << There's nothing wrong with
    that, but I feel it destroys your counter arguement. The people who use
    your name when they communicate with you are doing so with a purpose and you
    have a purpose when you put your name on your book, on your posts, on your
    mail, and on your advertisements.>>

    And I have a purpose when I overeat, pick my nose, and drop heavy boxes on
    my feet. So what? What does that have to do with cultural evolution? Suppose
    everything has a purpose. Why do some memes spread more than others?

    <<You call a man by his first name when you want him to feel you are close
    friends and you leave it out and add "Mr." when you want to display social
    distance. A salesman uses your name because he knows you will react to it
    and pay closer attention to what he is saying. It gives him a handle with
    which to manipulate you. But I feel silly having to explain it to you as I
    think you must know it already and make use of it on a daily basis. You
    are, after all, in the busines of selling.>>

    You sure seem to know a lot about me. And there's that one-s "busines"
    again. What is it that I sell again?

    <<There are many other ways we use the name meme, but I only needed one
    example to counter your arguement. I notice you did not respond to my
    counter but chose instead to duck the issue by taking offense and
    withdrawing. That, too, is a debating technique and since you used it with
    the intent of accomplishing an objective, it can be classified as a meme
    (according to my theory).>>

    Who's this "we"? Do you have a tapeworm? Or do you purport to speak for all
    of humanity?

    I took only mild offense and did not withdraw. I was using the
    Communications Model ( )
    designed to facilitate communication.

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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