Re: Is Memetics Needed? [Was : A Drosophila etc]

Dr I Price (
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 02:33:01 -0400

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 02:33:01 -0400
From: Dr I Price <>
Subject: Re: Is Memetics Needed? [Was : A Drosophila etc]
To: "" <>


>No, no rhetorical trap at all.>

Good, thanks.

> Instead, my point is that memetics by
itself -- defined solely or primarily in relationship to entities called
"memes" -- does us no good whatever. We must, instead, embed all such
discussions in other frameworks that themselves define what memes are and=

what they do.

The whole discussion about masturbation, which came from Aaron Lynch's
discussion of the topic, was designed to prove that point. Absent such
frameworks, memes are tautological: we do X because memes make us do X
because no other memes can compete with X-memes. An argument like that i=
fatuous question-begging because it says nothing substantive at all about=
or about memes.>

It depends on context. As a *strict dispassionate scientist* [what I call=

the observer stance withou meaning to devalue it, or discuss whether it
exists] I could agree. At the level where I work; with organisations seei=
things as X-memes doing their stuff rather than 'management' or 'staff'
being 'right' or 'wrong' can help both parties appreciate that they reall=
be victims of the selfish replicators [or stuck with their mental models]=

Grant me my own intellectual/ memetic inheritance. I come from a traditon=

where majority opinion spent 50 odd years denying the evidence for
*continental drift* because the mechanism wasn't sorted out. Quite proper=

one could say or one could say 'refusal to accept evidence that does not
fit ones preconceptions'. As you say Tim {?}

>But my point is that even if information is not always economically
defined, we can understand how memes work only in context.<


If Price

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