Re: "Retarding the Progress" - A Call for Specifics

Aaron Lynch (
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 15:27:17 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 15:27:17 -0600
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: "Retarding the Progress" - A Call for Specifics
In-Reply-To: <000201be61af$3ed57460$935295c1@pc>

At 05:37 PM 2/26/99 -0000, Paul Marsden wrote:
>Aaron wrote
>>Now from Paul Marsden's commentary, we have a remarkable quote from his
>>second paragraph:
>>"As Gatherer notes, the thought contagion metaphor persists largely because
>>of what could charitably be called a `disregard' for linguistics and
>>cognitive science. To this I would add a dangerous `disregard' for the
>>corpus of social science in general, and evolutionary social science in
>I'm glad you find it remarkable - you'll make me blush with pride ;-)

I did not answer this before, but I will answer it now. What I find
remarkable about the statement you made is that you made it without giving
any specifics. In particular, you did not identify a single case of how
linguistics and cognitive science were dangerously or even harmfully
disregarded in a memetic explanation in which "the thought contagion
metaphor" has actually been used. You are still invited to give those
specifics, especially any specifics you had in mind when you wrote that
statement. I am not asking for "charity," just specifics. As before, I do
not want to be told to go read X, Y, and Z linguistic and cognitive works
unless you can tell me in advance how it applies to the growth or decline
of some specific movement actually analyzed with "the thought contagion

Hopefully, you can oblige without blushing. ;-)

--Aaron Lynch

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