RE: Whales and the Memetic Group definitions

Wade T.Smith (
Thu, 30 Sep 1999 21:42:21 -0400

Subject: RE: Whales and the Memetic Group definitions
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 21:42:21 -0400
From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
To: "Memetics Discussion List" <>

>without making others do the hoop-jumping for him.

Ah, well, I'm not asking anyone to jump through a hoop. I just want
something I could actually see, like, well, some result that provided
some proof. All I see so far is hand-waving. And it is the first recourse
of the con-artist to deny access to his 'secrets'. So, my natural
suspicions are heightened by silence and behind-the-veil and 'you just
don't get it, you need to starve for fifteen years in a mud hut'

I am still interested. So far, the 'evolution of culture' argument is
specious to me, since we ain't got a handle on either 'culture' or what
actually evolves in culture. Air guitar.

As for saying memes affect the the future, well, OK, what particular
vantage are we looking from when we say that, hmm? Sounds a lot like that
Ceta-Research's vision of time to me. When did cultural time start
anyway? Again, a nice map without explored territory.

So every definition of a meme that involves cultural evolution, is to me,
irrelevant, immaterial, and incompetent. I like the information angle-
and I like the behavior angle. I as well like the aesthetic angle- maybe
it's only mine- where forms of communication, even the methods
themselves, are innate- where what _has_ evolved is our experience of
this, not the experience itself. I stay with this angle because this is
what I have experienced, from my particular geographic vantage- not that
travel don't broaden you, but keeping a culture with you can just as well
limit any traveler to his own region. I have never attempted to keep to
my region in this way, but, true, I have not been granted the means or
opportunities to travel except in thought.

In short, I do want something real to chip my teeth on. I don't want
woo-woo explanations, or graphs, or clever maths, or even popular book
club selections handed to me as proofs that a real science of the meme
exists. So far, no-one has upbraided me for failing to read every volume
about bread mold, but I can replicate it easily. And so far, the
so-called 'work of memetics' is not attractive to me, since all I see is

So, show me what you mean by "I wonder if 'doing' memetics might be
easier than explaining it?" is all about. What is 'doing memetics'?

I don't think I'm asking anyone to jump through a hoop to answer that.

- Wade

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