RE: What does the replicating?

Richard Brodie (
Sun, 8 Jun 1997 08:03:43 -0700

From: Richard Brodie <>
To: "''" <>
Subject: RE: What does the replicating?
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 1997 08:03:43 -0700

Colin Brooke wrote:

>[Tim Perper] Is memetics simply a fashionable novelty that does
>> little more than give a new name to old ideas? Thus we learn that rhetoric
>> cuts both ways.
>This is precisely one of the thoughts that I've been having,
>after reading Brodie's Virus of the Mind. His book didn't have a lot
>appeal for me, most of it repeating what Aristotle wrote 2500 or so

You'd be amazed at the number of letters I get from people very well
educated in X, where X is philosophy, psychology, anthropology, etc.,
who read Virus of the Mind and conclude (despite my warnings at the
beginning and end of the book about Kuhnian paradigm shifts) that
memetics is simply a mapping of what they already know onto some weird
new jargon. Without evaluating the thought process of any individuals on
this list, I would like to point out that this phenomenon seems to be a
common response people have just prior to "getting" a new paradigm or
model. Remember, the key thing about memetics is the thesis that the
future will be full of culture with "good memes" -- memes that replicate
successfully. I'm sure others on this list are far more familiar with
Aristotle than I, but I do not think Aristotle covered self-replication
of ideas in any of his treatises.

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