RE: Whales and the Memetic Group definitions

Wade T.Smith (
Thu, 30 Sep 1999 15:01:12 -0400

Subject: RE: Whales and the Memetic Group definitions
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 15:01:12 -0400
From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
To: <>

>I am responding to Wade's challenge because I do think that 'memetics' is

And I thank you- but, remember, it is hardly my challenge at all- I am
mirroring and echoing a major unease with memetics, especially in the
skeptical and scientific arena.

>My hope is, Wade, that you
>don't abandon your inquiry into memetics entirely.

I really don't plan on that- but, right now, I am really at sea
attempting to rationalize almost all of it.

>I would add to your list of disciplines that memes might be relevant to,

Yes- my list was far from complete.

I include 'aesthetics' because of the theories therein about dramatic
forms- the language of expression- music, song, plot, action, character.
I am an Aristotelian aesthetician, if I had to tag myself with any label
at all, and I see these forms of expression as innate and universal-
'memetic' to use a term.... ;-)

>I see memes as essentially ... underlying beliefs.

Along with, well, just about everything else.... - right now, I see
genetics and the perspective of socio-biology, and see no need for memes.
My rationale here is- if birdsong is memetic, then the term is
meaningless- birdsong to me is totally behavioral and innate- the bird
'has-to' do it. _If_ that is a memetic process, then I see no need for a
boundary between any behavior and what a being 'has-to' do.


>Also, our drive for understanding memes is not to understand
>'everything' about them, as much as it is to understand 'enough' about
>them -- an engineer's persective.

Well, that is all well and good, I suppose. But, to me, it is precisely
the engineer's perspective that is missing- the actual design
specifications are absent- there is no definite and replicatible and
manufacturable outcome or product.

I am from Missouri about this- show me a designed meme. Show me the
process of manufacture. Show me the ore from which the ingot is obtained,
and the mold into which it is poured.

- Wade

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