Re: virus: Re: Social Metaphysics

Marie Foster (
Thu, 02 Oct 1997 15:40:48 -0700

Tim Rhodes wrote:
> On Tue, 30 Sep 1997, Marie Foster wrote:
> > If we are going to be able to really make this a science we must come up
> > with some simple assumptions we can test. I have a study I would like
> > to do if I had the time.
> Do tell!!! If public knowledge would spoil the data collection, sent it
> to me off list. I'm very interested. I had an idea as well, which I
> offered here, but don't have the time (it seems) to carry out. Maybe I'll
> send it to you.
> > I am feeling that memetics has already split between theorists and
> > pragmatists.
> Many of the theorists, I suspect, would love to be pragmatists, but don't
> have the time. When is someone going to offer a grant for memetic
> research!!!
> -Prof. Tim

I know of a behavior that started just about 30 years ago. A word has
even entered the dictionary that describes the behavior as it exists
today. Yet, the behavior started to change in a very fundamental way
once it spread outside of the group that started it. I have often
thought about doing a literature search and plot the spread of this over
time and place.

The reason I think it would be a good research item is that this is a
very inconsequential act. But because of its nature the media has been
instrumental in disseminating it. It is the association of the behavior
to the word that describes it that is interesting to me.

I know that this is vague. One must keep some secrets.