Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #120

Martz (
Thu, 26 Dec 1996 14:53:06 +0000

On Wed, 25 Dec 1996, Schneider John <> wrote:

>I've yet to see an argument directed at XYZ (so I'm hoping s/he
>reads this) which simply states that: memetics is a useful paradigm.
>It is a way of looking at culture "from the idea's (or meme's) point
>of view". Memetics is a language that was devised in order to help
>us more easily discuss our ideas, our own memes, when we're utiliz-
>ing this paradigm.

Perhaps not in those terms, but unless XYZ has changed tack since he
made it to my killfile the attack all along has been against this
upstart fad which we call memetics, daring to parade itself as hard
science. I'm open to correction here but I have never seen memetics
touted as a science in any forum. It is at best a fledgeling field of
study, and for my own part is simply a lens through which it is
sometimes useful to view life. To respond to the straw man argument he
has presented is a waste of time. If you make a good point he will
ignore it, if you use a metaphor he will place it in a different context
to ridicule it. XYZs aim is not, I repeat, not to understand how we view
memetics (he already knows), nor is he interested in advancing the
science he claims to respect so much (if it was, he would be out there
doing it, not complaining to us that we're not). His only concern is to
gain and hold your attention long enough to play whatever games he
thinks he's playing. If you want to play along to see where he leads, go
for it (and I truly hope the investment of your time is rewarded). If
you don't like what he's saying you don't need to call for his removal
or censorship, just stop listening and responding.

>XYZ desires a 'more scientific' understanding of memetics

Then why isn't he out there trying to advance the body of knowledge to
the point where it *can* be called a science instead of tilting at

>I claim guilty to the charge that I was too lazy to argue with XYZ
>about whatever it is we were arguing about, which is why I dropped
>it cold turkey.

I wouldn't call that laziness. We all have to prioritise what we spend
our time and energy on, and if arguments which are obviously going
nowhere are not at the top of your 'must do' list, so what?

>> That is why I feel I cannot judge XYZ for his/her point of view,

Particularly as we haven't heard it yet. Or has he come out of the
closet since last I heard.

>> but I can judge him or her for the abrasiveness and the purposeful
>> (I feel) obfuscation of the matters at hand.

A means to an end.

>whenever possible". Oops! Now I'm sounding like a level 3
>elitist... ;-) Ain't the 'elitist' meme grand?

And 'useful' to those who wield it effectively.


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