Re: FW: Memetics in Time magazine

Tim Rhodes (
Tue, 27 Apr 1999 16:38:59 -0700

From: "Tim Rhodes" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: FW: Memetics in Time magazine
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 16:38:59 -0700

Aaron Lynch wrote:

>>Derek wrote::
>>You have a point here, but..... don't you think that your speculation
>>concerning Dawkins' motives is... erm.... a bit strong?
>Well, maybe it is a bit strong, or maybe it is a bit weak. Some of the
>sites he mentions actually seem chosen so as to *invite* the charge of
>"cocktail-party science," all the more so given the omission of JoM-EMIT
>and online technical works.

Have you considered the possibility that Dawkins, as a skilled speaker, was
simply siting sources that would be readily accessible to the average reader
of Time magazine? Most lay-folk would be quickly soured on memetics if they
had to try to pick it up from a source like JoM-EMIT or other "technical

Understanding your audience--and their limitations--is, after all, an
important part of communicating new ideas to a wider base. (And it is from
that wider audience that the funding for memetics research will eventual
come, Aaron.) I have a hard time seeing how letting them learn to crawl
before they try to walk is likely to be an act motivated by anti-bipedal

-Tim Rhodes

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