RE: implied or inferred memes

Bill Benzon (
Wed, 6 Oct 1999 10:56:36 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 10:56:36 -0400
From: (Bill Benzon)
Subject: RE: implied or inferred memes


Interesting questions.

>And are you hoping to spread this point of view to others?

In the long term, yes. In the short term I'm willing to put some effort
into it, but not very much effort. I've already published an article or
two that has direct bearing on memetics, but I don't feel a need to publish
those ideas over and over and I don't feel that I've got anything to add to
them at the moment.

>If so, what
>factors do you think will influence the speed and success with which it is

At the moment memetics is mostly a pop-intellectual fad. I don't know how
long that fad can continue (how long did phrenology exist in the 19th
century?). Some folks, of course, are trying to make a serious
intellectual discipline out of memetics and some version of the internalist
position seems to be the reigning orthodoxy among these. I don't think
that theoretical stance will develop a rich body of empirical results to
support it. If it doesn't, then how can long can it hang-on? Of course,
there are serious academic desciplines that are empirically weak -- the
humanties -- but they don't advertise themselves as science. Memetics
does. So memetics has to produce empirical results. You can't produce
those results simply by taking a majority vote. As internalist memetics
dies, there will be room for a deeper view.

I can wait. Meanwhile, I've got other ideas I can work on.

William L. Benzon 201.217.1010
708 Jersey Ave. Apt. 2A
Jersey City, NJ 07302 USA

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