Re: Memetics Defined! (was Re: virus: Why not ramble)

Wade T.Smith (
Thu, 23 Oct 97 18:21:52 -0400

>Memetics: The discipline of representing a behavior pattern in it's most
>simple form such that it's propensity to replicate is indicated; that is, by
>representing a behavior as a pattern, one indicates that a more complex form
>is forthcoming.* The end product of this process is the "meme", which is
>defined: The most simple representation of patterned behavior (though the
>level at which this meme is located might be related to the level being
>studied and our ability to discern what is, in fact, "the most simple
>representation"). This does assume that being "infected" by the pattern
>alone will produce the behavior--a point which requires further research.

Look Brett, I truly appreciate what you've done here, and the
level-headed way in which we have pursued it, but there are many who
would contend with your definition above on purely practical terms, and
others, like myself, who would ask 'In what way have you described
anything other than a set of representational mathematical formulae (or
the attempt to formulate some), to be applied in behavioural psychiatry?'

Where is the need to multiply these entities, to rename already present

These complaints go to the heart of my dissatifaction with the whole
memetic gestalt. When it invokes Aesthetics, it hurts Aesthetics. When it
invokes Psychiatry, it hurts Psychiatry. When it invokes Anthropology, it
hurts Anthropology. When it invokes Philosophy, it hurts Philosophy.
(Well, OK, a few wounds are needed there anyway....)

So, perhaps I am being both stubborn and skeptical in rambling forth in
search of a meme for memetics, as a starting point for the discipline,
not the outcome. But I don't think so. I think I am preparing for the
discovery which, yes, at some level of apprehension most certainly
non-scientific (or is it?) I feel is yet to come but only faintly hid
around the corner.

In the meanwhile, I, like all here present, practice something I like to
think is a little askew from regular communication....

Group hug, y'all.

Wade T. Smith | "There ain't nothin' you | shouldn't do to a god." |
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