RE: What the hell is a false meme? (was: Re: virus: Destroying CoV)
Sun, 9 Feb 1997 10:20:59 -0600 (CST)

On Thu, 6 Feb 1997, Vicki Rosenzweig wrote:

> If you prefer, we could say that some memes conform to observed
> reality more closely than others. However, while it may be useful in
> memetic terms to analyze how well the meme "the Earth is flat"
> persisted after the first proofs that the Earth is a sphere, it's useful for
> a lot of purposes to point out that "the Earth is flat" is a false
> statement.
> Even in memetic terms, it's relevant that people will continue to host
> memes that contradict available evidence.

Actually, "the Earth is flat" was doing remarkably well for a millenium
or so, considering that Ptolemy's Almagest directly asserts "the Earth is
round" and cites the shape of the Earth's shadow in a lunar eclipse as

Erasthones even took the time to exploit this claim to compute the
Earth's circumference to within 1%. It's EASY! Take two cities, one of
which has no noon shadow at spring equinox, and measure the angle....

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd