Re: WWF: Richard v. Aaron

Aaron Lynch (
Mon, 08 Feb 1999 16:15:36 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 16:15:36 -0600
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: WWF: Richard v. Aaron
In-Reply-To: <>

At 12:41 AM 2/9/99 +0000, Bruce Howlett wrote:
>Alex et al,
>The really interesting bit about this debate between Aaron and Richard
>is that we have heard it all before and we come up with the same
>stalemate every time. That's why I suggested a systems approach if
>there is any real intention of progressing past this gridlock into
>useful, dare I say coherent, theory development and testing.
>The bottom line for the protagonists is publicity, and when it comes to
>selling something, any publicity is good publicity. Both Aaron and
>Richard are doing the memetics fraternity a disservice by refusing to
>come to terms with each other and co-operate in acheiving a profound
>definition of a meme. I know from years of experience that a carefully
>orchestrated consultative process will acheive this in a very short
>period of time. We may need to create new language and concepts, and
>even risk having to reverse some previously held beliefs and
>emphatically stated opinions. But if you truly want to legitimise and
>stabilise this field, you will do it.
>If you like I can give you some pointers on the consultative process,
>but I think you probably already know that stuff. Lets get down to
>practising memetics instead of polemics.
>Bruce Howlett.

Thanks, Bruce.

On some level, we have a clash of church versus academy, memetics as cult
versus memetics as scientific discipline, popular movement with elements of
elitist appeal versus scholarly movement with elements of popular appeal.
And there is a theme of the "cyber bad boys" versus the social scientists.

This is a very small forum and not much of a direct source of publicity for
either Richard or me. I doubt that it has even been much of an indirect
source of publicity, especially compared to our mass media exposure. It is,
however, a place where some of the leaders in memetics congregate, and in
that regard it sometimes becomes a battle ground for opposing visions of
the future course of memetics.

Do post the pointers on the consultative process, but we may want to wait a
while before proceeding.

--Aaron Lynch

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