RE: Memetics not tautological or circular

Richard Brodie (
Fri, 4 Jun 1999 00:15:29 -0700

From: "Richard Brodie" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: Memetics not tautological or circular
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 00:15:29 -0700

Derek wrote:

<<That is only true if one takes behaviors to be memes, because we can
predict the effects of behavior on survival and reproduction. We cannot
predict the effects of any hypothesized internal mental entity because we
know nothing about such entities.>>

Here's where you keep losing me. It doesn't seem at all far-fetched to me to
examine hypothesized mental contents and predict from that behaviors.
Polling, achievement tests, and driver's license exams are all attempts to
do just that, and appear to me to have at least some validity. I don't think
it's at all unreasonable to extend that model to the propensity to
evangelize or otherwise spread memes.

Richard Brodie
Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme"
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