Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance

Tue, 8 Sep 1998 08:45:51 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: On Gatherer's behaviourist stance
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 08:45:51 -0400 (EDT)

On Mon, 7 Sep 1998 15:20:21 +0000 Hans-Cees Speel
<> wrote:

> I would say that the Calvin theory goes in this direction. However,
> even i he is right, and areplicating kind of neuronal thuoghts exists
> we still cannot work with them as long as we cannot experiment with
> them.
> This will not happen for a long time if ever, so experimenting by
> using the brain as meme data provider will not work.
> What is possible of course is to use interviews etc. and memes on
> paper. The second ones fall under your behaviormemes, and the others
> don't I think?

The first would constitute verbal behaviour, which might generate some
rough per capita statistics, in the manner of opinion polls. As with
political opinion polls, we would always have to beware of the
insincerity of the respondents.

The second is difficult, as the only person you can assign a written
artefact to is its author, so there is no per capita element. But you
could study the text in its own right (a la Best). Here you would have
frequency of textual elements per text fragment etc.

This is what I mean when I say there is no population memetics, since
these two ways of collecting memetic statistics don't refer at all to
the same entity. They are not 'loci' in any 'memome', but essentially
independent ways of looking at change in culture over time.


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