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

Aaron Lynch (
Wed, 03 Mar 1999 09:33:51 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 09:33:51 -0600
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: FW: "Retarding the Progress" - A Call for Specifics
In-Reply-To: <2CDFE2C8F598D21197C800C04F911B200CAEB7@DELTA.newhouse.akzo

At 02:55 PM 3/3/99 +0100, Gatherer, D. (Derek) wrote:
>> Aaron, on some of the people who have reacted favourably to his work:
>> Some whose names you might recognize are Douglas Hofstadter, Daniel
>> Dennett, and John Casti.
>> Derek:
>> Eminent names indeed Aaron.

It was Paul who asked me to name names.

>> Aaron:
>> Somehow, they managed to avoid the misreadings that you and Derek have
>> produced.
>> Derek:
>> Well, actually Aaron, if you read the part of Darwin's Dangerous Idea
>> in which Dennett makes the distinction between memes as syntactic as
>> opposed to semantic entities............ your mnemons of 'awareness
>> of statement x' are of semantic construction. So I think Dennett did
>> perceive the weakness in your work, even though he doesn't actually
>> bother to cite it.

Actually, Dennett just read the event diagrams recently, in late 1997.
Don't look for any citation from him until his forthcoming paper, "The
Evolution of Evaluators" in a volume of the Siena workshop on evolutionary
economics. Incidentally, it was Dennett who pressed me to be more explicit
about what he calls "the awareness/adoption distinction."

>> Aaron:
>> David Hull told me that such
>> caricatures are common in major scientific disagreements.)
>> Derek:
>> Gosh, now I am flattered. I take it you were referring to me?
>> Please, pray tell, did you talk to David Hull about little me???? I
>> am not worthy!

Specifically, I was referring to Marsden's reference to "permutations and
combinations" as a caricature in his commentary. Still, as we have gone too
much into into sarcastic discussion of caricatures, flattery, worthiness,
etc., I think we should let the discussion rest.

--Aaron Lynch

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