t (christopher_l._turner@hud.gov)
Wed, 25 Mar 98 09:46:41 -0500

From: <christopher_l._turner@hud.gov>
Message-Id: <9803258908.AA890836838@hudsmtphq.hud.gov>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 98 09:46:41 -0500
To: <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>
Subject: 'paradigm'

Alfred Lang wrote:
>>>>>>...And he goes on urging that we should attempt to find entirely
new ways of dealing with the most established issues, particulary with
those that appear to be definitive. The tracks or grooved ways, he
says, are something good; but if nobody were willing to walk besides
the tracks, we would know little of the world.<<<<<<

I am interested in the word 'paradigm' applied to what I am inclined
to describe as "A self-justifying worldview - based 'way of doing
things'". There are myriad examples of what I am trying to indicate.
A glaring example that comes to mind is the Aztec culture. Their
cultural behavior and world-view were reciprocally motivated and
mutually justifying: As long as the religious government hierarchy
was maintained in power and thereby enabled to continue their
ritulized human sacrifices to the god Quetelquatl(sp), the sun would
continue to rise every morning and the corn would continue to grow.

Belief in, and burning of 'witches' might be regared as a similarly
dramatic example.

Granted these are greatly simplified examples for emphasis. But what
I am striving for is some direct connections of memes to/as behavior
patterns. Our memes seem to function as our 'programs' which direct
our behavior, which in turn, we sometimes use as the basis or
'justification' of our memes. Can anyone point out other striking,
perhaps modern day, examples.

Maybe I'm using 'paradigm' and 'meme' interchangeably here. Or
perhaps I'm trying to nail down 'paradigm', as popularly used these
days, as a reference to a form of meme.

The concept and term 'paradigm' seems to have the potential for a very
useful construct in this regard.

Observations and comments appreciated.

Chris Turner

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