The Meme Machine unleashed, according to Susan Blackmore.

Glen M. Sizemore gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 4 08:55:01 EST 2002


GS: Since I have been burned by my news-server before this, I am re-posting
this. Sorry if it appears twice (with slightly different wording - I didn't
save the brief comment).

>GS: These ideas are very old. The only thing new is the coining of the term
> "meme," and the ridiculous notion that it is useful to say that "memes
> propagate themselves" rather than that practices are selected because they
> contribute to a culture's ability to produce food, housing, and more
> members, and that cultures do this by arranging contingencies of
> reinforcement that select behavior at the individual level. So much for
> "memes." Or, rather, so much for Dawkins' intellectual honesty.

RL: Well, someone clearly has an axe to grind... :P

GS: That's what happens when you're the proponent of a maligned position. If
you look at the way evolutionary biologists are treated by creationists or
intelligent design proponents, you get a taste of the way behaviorism (and
to some extent, cultural materialism) have been treated. The difference is,
the misrepresentation has come, ironically, from the psychological
creationists - and this includes most of what is called "evolutionary
psychology."

RL: You appear to have misunderstood memes as practices;[...]

GS: Oh, you mean rather than "ideas?" What a bunch of insipid nonsense.

RL: [...]however, in regard to your earlier post, the original ideas of
Skinner et al are discussed in Dr. Blackmore's book.

GS: What was said? And, no, I'm not prepared to read the book, unless you
can show me how it isn't more mentalism. My main problem with "memes,"
however, is the extent to which its progenitors have ignored those who have
been calling for a more widespread appreciation of selection as a causal
force for the last 50 years.

"Richard Lancashire" <rlancashire at hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:8ad6f59.0210040137.72ad5532 at posting.google.com...
> "Glen M. Sizemore" <gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:<3d9c4592$1_4 at news.teranews.com>...
> > These ideas are very old. The only thing new is the coining of the term
> > "meme," and the ridiculous notion that it is useful to say that "memes
> > propagate themselves" rather than that practices are selected because
they
> > contribute to a culture's ability to produce food, housing, and more
> > members, and that cultures do this by arranging contingencies of
> > reinforcement that select behavior at the individual level. So much for
> > "memes." Or, rather, so much for Dawkins' intellectual honesty.
>
> Well, someone clearly has an axe to grind... :P
>
> You appear to have misunderstood memes as practices; however, in
> regard to your earlier post, the original ideas of Skinner et al are
> discussed in Dr. Blackmore's book.
>
> Cheers
> Rich





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