RE: virus: The One or the Many? (was: META)

Wade T.Smith (
Tue, 28 Oct 97 07:55:07 -0500

>and therefore, unlike ideas, of the same kind as the
>"external" patterns of actual observable behaviour. Who
>else is saying anything like that?

I've not been following this too closely, alas, but you seem to fall into
the same trap that others have been failing to avoid. You are actually
attempting to explain '"external" patterns of actual observable
behaviour', and while you say this is a somewhat new thing, it ain't, its
psychology and behavioral science, and they've been at it for a bit now.

Putting aside the rather large problem that you offer no definition of
'actual observable behaviour', cuz that's a loose cannon, you now need to
design some experiments to validate your claims. Can you design something
unique from usual behavioral studies? What are you trying to find? Or are
you like Brett and others, attempting to discern, through some obscure
and even arcane mathematica, these patterns you seem to see?

Well, that's been done for awhile too, and it's called many things, but
the most popular activity in this vein is astrology, a proven
pseudo-science. If you want to elevate these forms of prognostication
from the bunco to the scientific, you will need to find a mechanism. Now,
if you actually find a 'meme' using these methods, the better mousetrap
will indeed draw the world to your door....

Once 'memeticists' actually locate, define, and begin to experiment on
the 'meme', there will be a science (or at least a discipline) we can
call Memetics with total confidence. Until then, we are memeologists, at
best, and the study is an infant memeology, with uneven and poorly
defined fronts, occasionally siding with established sciences,
occasionally dipping into the anthropological disciplines, and
occasionally borrowing tracts and potions from soothsayers. Hardly
surprising it ain't won any real battles yet.

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