"Retarding the Progress" - A Call for Specifics

Gatherer, D. (D.Gatherer@organon.nhe.akzonobel.nl)
Fri, 26 Feb 1999 15:06:52 +0100

Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 15:06:52 +0100
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <D.Gatherer@organon.nhe.akzonobel.nl>
Subject: "Retarding the Progress" - A Call for Specifics
To: "'memetics@mmu.ac.uk'" <memetics@mmu.ac.uk>

Aaron wrote:
>While the term "thought contagion" is a non-technical term devised
>for succinctness and to be more self-explanatory in lay usage than the
It was an unfortunate choice of phrase, I think, but I appreciate that
when you have books to sell you need to be as snappy as possible.
There's nothing wrong with that. It's not really just the phrase
'thought contagion' that my article is about, but the whole approach
which goes under that banner, post-Dawkins-B as it were.
>the allegation of "retarding the progress of memetics" was also
>lodged against my 1998 JoM-EMIT paper, despite its emphasis on
>"non-metaphoric memetics."
I have specific objections to that paper over and above the content of
your 1996 stuff. In particular, to the calculus of mnemon
instantiations. But I've been over all that already..... Again there's
nothing wrong with trying to be non-metaphoric as you put it, it's just
the way you go about it I don't like.
>As one who would rather not "retard the progress of memetics," I would
>to see how either my JoM-EMIT paper or my book might have done so in a
>specific topic: the Hutterites.
I think it is unhelpful to consider the Hutterites (or indeed anyone
else) as hosts to mnemons that can't be observed. If you're determined
to analyse the Hutterites in terms of your calculus of mnemon
instantiations, then you're not going to get anywhere, as the said
calculus is, as I have already demonstrated, unworkable.

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