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

Bill Benzon (
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 06:24:30 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 06:24:30 -0500
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: Re: Is Memetics Needed? [Was : A Drosophila etc]

If Price,

>exists] I could agree. At the level where I work; with organisations seeing
>things as X-memes doing their stuff rather than 'management' or 'staff'
>being 'right' or 'wrong' can help both parties appreciate that they really
>be victims of the selfish replicators [or stuck with their mental models].
Ah... this makes sense. But it's one thing to say, that as a practical
conceptual tool, attributing behavior to autonomous memes has value. It's
quite a different thing to assert, in the context of rigorous analysis,
that the autonomous meme is the way to go. In an organizational context
where you want to get people to change their attitudes and behavior, the
autonomous meme, as you say, puts distance between the people and their
behavior and short-circuits the impulse to blame it all on someone else,
which isn't of much use. Just blame it all on those pesky memes. So the
memes serve as a useful scapegoat. But in the rigorous analysis of attitude
and behavior, context looms large & memes seem less and less like
autonomous agents and more like components in a complex system.

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

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