Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2002 - 03:53:44 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Memes Meta-Memes and Politics 1 of 3 (1988, updates 2002)
    Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 22:53:44 -0500
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    From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
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    Hi Keith Henson -

    >Another example of people rejecting the very idea of memetics was the

    As one myself, this is probably because some iota of proof, in the form
    of empirical data, is required by skeptics. At the moment, memetics is a
    fad, the meme is a supposition, and the science is non-existent.

    But, as a skeptic myself, the idea of memetics (the utilization of
    definable and quantifiable units of culture) is not rejected, although it
    looks like so many other things, such as anthopology, and aesthetics, and
    psychology, and so on, that it just might be something else. As a unique
    method of analyzing culture, it holds promise. As a necessary and
    sufficient condition for culture, in a demand for a 'meme', it still
    needs to prove itself.

    But since it is also tied up with brain-washing and multilevel marketing
    and is rejected by such luminaries as E. O. Wilson and Stephen Pinker...
    and while it is also tied up with evolution and rationality and accepted
    by such luminaries as Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins....

    We wait.

    Parsimony, so far, does not demand a meme.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    - Wade

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