Re: A Drosophila for cultural evolution

Bill Benzon (
Sun, 22 Jun 1997 14:35:32 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 1997 14:35:32 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: A Drosophila for cultural evolution

Martha & Tim,

I got the following private email in response to my posting about a
Drosophila for cultural evolution. I haven't got any idea who Dave Gross is
& haven't been to his website yet. But the project he describes sounds like
a perfectly straight-up piece of traditional folklore research. There's
nothing wrong with that, but why does he want to call it memetics? Memetics
has nothing to offer him in the way of research methodology or results. All
the lable gets him is entre into the world of memeticists.

Bill B

PS Just took a look at the site. The man's done quite a bit of work; it
could be the basis of a Ph D disseration in folklore. However, Gross seems
to be an amateur. & while I could care less about whether or not he has a
degree and an academic position... at it is, this work seems out in limbo.
Oh well...

>Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 03:46:26 +0800 (GMT-8)
>From: Dave Gross <>
>To: Bill Benzon <>
>Subject: Re: A Drosophila for cultural evolution
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>I've got a nomination for the Drosophila... I'm working on mapping the
>memetic heritage of an urban legend. I've got sixty or so examples of
>this legend "caught in the wild" and I'm trying to break them down into
>their components (and each component into its varieties) with the ultimate
>goal of making a "family tree" of sorts.
>I'm keeping my raw data on line for researchers to look at, but I haven't
>made a big announcement yet because I'm still hard at work. You can see
>what I've got so far at:
>-- Dave Gross

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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