Re: Critical thinking in memetics

Bruce Howlett (
Mon, 25 May 1998 22:30:17 +0000

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 22:30:17 +0000
From: Bruce Howlett <>
Subject: Re: Critical thinking in memetics


Thank you for your post and especially the links which I will follow up.

I am not immune to criticism nor do I refrain from critisising. My
comment was meant to be conciliatory regarding the differences between
your treatment of memetics and Brodie's treatment. I obviously phrased
it poorly. I have an open mind on the issue and I will defend
vehemently anyone's right to dissagree with me if I develop a strongly
held opinion.

Having said that, the real issue is the _lack_ of critical thinking.
What I tried to communicate when I said "that a very small percentage of
the population is capable of critical thinking", is, for whatever
reason, lack of capacity. This is not meant to be elitist or
patronising, just a statement based on experience. I have a particular
problem at present with the lecturer who will be marking my thesis
proposal. He is a mathemetician and statistics specialist and has a
very different perception on "research" to mine. This won't be a
problem as far as the thesis is concerned, as this "research methods"
unit stands alone but unfortunately is compulsory. It is just very
frustrating when his comments reveal a lack of comprehension and a rule
following mentality that would reduce the thesis to a critical review of
existing literature. Edward de Bono says "In terms of the mind, the
mechanisms for pattern changing are mistake, accident and humour." This
is because the basic capacity for critical thinking is lacking in most
of the population, even in the academics.

For a Change Management specialist, I find this very intriguing. What
about the thousands of volumes espousing structural and process
rationales? How does personnel management theory relate to memetics.
At last we have a science which can explain the previously
inexplicable. But does it stand up to critical analysis? And analysis
by whom?


Bruce :-)

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)