Re: Critical thinking in memetics

Ton Maas (
Thu, 4 Jun 1998 23:51:27 +0200

Message-Id: <v03102803b19cc1fcf6b4@[]>
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Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 23:51:27 +0200
From: Ton Maas <>
Subject: Re: Critical thinking in memetics

Bruce Howlett wrote:
>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.

Edward is in good company here. Gregory Bateson, one of the founding
fathers of cybernetics and _the_ key figure in turning it into a reflexive
epistemological tool, was continuously fighting with the pragmatists of
information theory, who were obsessed with reducing noise. Bateson said
that noise is our only source of novelty and flexibility, and pointed at
the wisdom implicit in natural communicative domains (such as ecology,
human languages and evolution), which are all extremely rich in both
redundancy and noise.

>For a Change Management specialist, I find this very intriguing. What
>about the thousands of volumes espousing structural and process

As Blaise Pascal once said: "Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose". The
more things change, the more they stay the same. One of the wisest voices
in personnel management consultancy in this country (the Netherlands) -
Teun van Aken - included this one in his Ten Commandments for top
management: "Stop all reorganizations - they are merely the replacement of
one stable situation by another, while invoking a lot of pain in the
process". My colleague consultant Lukas often asks his clients (in
semi-jest) whether they have an employment contract or an S-M agreement.

> How does personnel management theory relate to memetics.

They are both in Fallacy, and their Existence an Imposture ;-)


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