Re: Significance of memetics

Mon, 30 Nov 1998 11:08:57 -0500 (EST)

Subject: Re: Significance of memetics
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 11:08:57 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 27 Nov 1998 14:48:25 -0600 Lloyd Robertson
<> wrote:

I've snipped you message, Lloyd, because I can't dispute the details
you have provided. I'm only in the position of interpreting a
television programme, which is never a good place to start....

But regarding your conclusion:

> It seems to me that if you define memes only in behavioral terms then you
> are left without an explanation.

I can't provide an explanation, but perhaps that's because we don't
know enough about memetics yet.

Do you think that thought contagionism provides an explanation? If you
do I'd be interested in hearing it.

Tangentially but not entirely unrelatedly, Le Bon's "Psychology of
Crowds" (1895) was apparently a book with which Hitler and Mussolini
were both familiar (Eatwell 1995, p.8). Hitler, unlike Mussolini, was
not an avid reader or even very literate. He only read those things he
saw as utterly important. If you see social contagion and memetics as
two sides of the same coin (who said that??) as I do, then it is rather
intruiging that this demagogic pair were both into a proto-memetics


Eatwell R (1995) Fascism: a history. Chatto and Windus, London.

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