skeptical anthropologists

Wade T.Smith (
Mon, 6 Sep 1999 11:50:11 -0400

Subject: skeptical anthropologists
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 11:50:11 -0400
From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
To: <>

>due to the scepticism of the anthropologists present -- there was no
>mention whatsoever of any cultural replicator other than the meme.

Well, has there ever _been_ mention of a 'cultural replicator' before the
'meme' was presented as a possible mechanism? Cultural self-interest and
preservation handles the selfish part well. I suspect economics handles a
lot more than we are willing to say. And territorial issues are very
basic. The 'meme' seems specious and unnecessary, AFAIK, in a lot of
anthropological analyses. But it is a lot of the chicken and the egg. At
least the sky ain't falling.

(Memetics has always seemed to me to be a synthesis, if it ever happens,
of aesthetics, anthropology- in another synthesis of its behavioral and
cultural halves-, and perceptual cognition. Which is how, more than why,
I, personally, love the whole idea of it.) Memetics is _why we do things_.

- Wade

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