Re: virus: Angelica de Meme

Tim Rhodes (
Fri, 4 Apr 1997 12:34:11 -0800 (PST)

On Thu, 3 Apr 1997, Tadeusz Niwinski wrote:

> About memetics. It occurred to me just recently that memetics is like
> astrology.

Dan posted earlier about the failings of memetics and I am not sure anyone
took the bait and got the ball roling, so here goes.

What can /we/, you reading this and CofV as a whole, do move memetics from
the mystical hypothesis it now into the realm of science? Are there
experiments that can be performed to gather quantifiable data to support
the hypothesis?

I've had one bouncing around in my head for a while, but I've got a couple
stumbling blocks between it and my ability to carry it out completely. I
don't think I'll share it quite yet, though, and not for 4 Principal-type
reasons (It would look at rates of transmission of a given "test" meme
through the e-mail memesphere and I'm afraid talking about it too much
before hand may queer the data. If I get a chance to hammer out an
outline of the experiment I may make it available to a couple interested
parties off-line to get their input, though.)

But does anyone else know of any research going on at the moment?
Shouldn't *we* be doing it? We'll always have questions of philosophy to
fight over, but can we agree to work on making progress in the field of
memetics at the same time? If this (memetics) is an empowering tool for
understanding both objective and subjective realities, than every one of
us should have a stake in realising it's potential.

Can we all conspire to put a capital "M" on memetics?

-Prof. Tim