WWF: Richard v. Aaron

SOC MicroLab 2, UEA, Norwich (A.Rousso@uea.ac.uk)
Mon, 8 Feb 1999 13:27:39 GMT

Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 13:27:39 GMT
From: "SOC MicroLab 2, UEA, Norwich" <A.Rousso@uea.ac.uk>
Subject: WWF: Richard v. Aaron
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk

(a) OK, it's time for you two to shut up now. If you want to
bicker, please do it on your own time.
(b) the above point raises a more genuine concern. Just as
Bruce is right that it is fun to listen for a while, and
Tim is right that this informal discussion list should be a
primer for more serious discussion, I have nevertheless
wasted over an hour of my life with this egoistic bollocks
(digests 145-7). Sometimes I get caught watching Eastenders
or Blind Date and I get sucked in, desperate to know what
happened next, even though I know it's a worthless charade.
Maybe that's OK, but when it happens on my work time. . . .

My point is this (I'm going to go a bit pop memetics here
myself - sorry): Dennett (p.203 Consciousness Explained)
warns of pernicious memes which are hard to eradicate,
invoking an idea that we can muse over which memes are good
for us and which aren't (this cuts straight to my PhD thesis
on whether memetics helps solve the problems of theories of
free speech). In a roundabout way, I'm saying we are all
mesmerised like schoolboys ringed around two protagonists
shouting "fight! fight! fight!" when we really should be
doing something more constructive with our time. It is
possible that one of the normative conclusions from memetics
is that we may have even more evidence that we should be in
less control of the content of what we see/read/receive (or
maybe memetics argues the opposite). For example, the
"heavyweight" quasi-academic discussion of the last few days
has had me over a barrel, but I can't say I've really gained
much out of it; much as I wanted to have some editorial
restraint of my own, I just couldn't resist seeing how low
it could go!

Whoever is in charge of the digest at the moment - is it
hans-cees? - should spare me the pain of deliberation, and
should I think, be a little more - ahem - selective in what
is broadcast. Anyone agree?

cheers, alex rousso.

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