Re: Meme pools?

Dr I Price (
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 03:42:42 -0400

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 03:42:42 -0400
From: Dr I Price <>
Subject: Re: Meme pools?
To: "" <>

Bill Benzon

>I have no particular objection to calling these things cultural species =

though I think their may be something peculiar going on with language. I'=
not sure languages should be considered as autonomous cultural species.
Perhaps it would be better to think of langauges as constituting the
nervous system of cultural species. That is, each cultural species has it=
language which is just a tool for manipulating the memetic repertoire of
the species.>

Thank you/ I think you might be on to something there. In light hearted moments I have been known to claim that language is something memes invented to have sex with [that is to enable transmittal]. I just don't know the extent to which a language passes on a particular cultural tradition. That is why I am staring to try and explore what the linguists=

have to say. Strange I was married to one once.

> >Of course to even pursue the enquiry that way we have to start with the >hypothesis that it is the organisation that is the phenotype [personally= I >prefer phemotype], but, as I have said before using the idea of memes, a= nd >Metaphoric Replicator Intentionality, seems to me to grant the prospect = of >a unifying paradigm for understanding a lot of observations on 'cultural=

>evolution' which are already well established. >

I think it's perfectly reasonable to think of corporate cultures as cultural species & I'd think that an evolutionary approach would work. I've taken a look at your organizational memetics paper and think that it=

works. Of course, it should be obvious that you and I have a very different take on how to go about this business so I can't see any point = in retransmitting one of my standard anti-orthodox-memetics memes. & you are=

certainly astute in looking at the unwritten rules.>

Thank you. I have also taken a second look [still not time for a detailed=

look] at your stuff. I am ready to be infgected by reverse order memetics=

memes [artefact enable paradigm rather than vice versa] but would be happier to evolve the language where we all new what we were talking abou= t at any one time so as to get beyond the 'my meme is bigger than your meme= ' conversations which various memes on this list have been having. I do assert that the meme to [unwritten] rule transform enables one to link memetics to the whole evolutionary economics school.

>Are you familiar with Arthur Stinchcombe's _Information and Organization= s_ (U Cal Press 1990)? Stinchcombe is interested in the way the "informatic environment" shapes an organization's form and growth. His general idea starts with the notion that businesses must survive in a world full of uncertainty. They acquire information to reduce uncertainty as much as possible. For any given business, some matters are more uncertain than others. The business takes a form which will get it as much information a= s possible about those uncertainties which are most critical to the busines= s. He looks at a variety of types of business and, among other things, revisits the classic work of Alfred Chandler.>

No I'm not. Thanks again. I have been struck by the school of management research which points out how difficult it is for organizations to acquir= e the information they need because their acquisition is filtered by the collective organisational perception. IBM, Apple and Digital all nearly died [still may die] from this problem, but the causes were different in each case thought the symptoms were similar.

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

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