The Meme Machine unleashed, according to Susan Blackmore.

Glen M. Sizemore gmsizemore2 at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 7 05:32:58 EST 2002


> RL: You appear to have misunderstood memes as practices;[...]
>
> GS: Oh, you mean rather than "ideas?" What a bunch of insipid nonsense.

RL: I see your point; it *is* far easier to dismiss out of hand rather
than construct any kind of argument. But perhaps this is why you have
difficulties with people accepting your ideas?

GS: I *do* have my own ideas on the subject, but I was talking mostly about
the writings of Skinner and Harris - especially Skinner. But I have not
dismissed mentalism "out of hand." Indeed, I have thought about it for
nearly 25 years.

> 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.

RL: So you assert that these people are ignored, but you are unwilling to
read the books that you claim ignore them?

GS: Probably as unwilling as you would be to read a book that started out
something like, "This book is predicated on the fact that evolution by
natural selection has been thoroughly discredited." Plus, I have read enough
about it to see that it is pretty clear that he simply takes up the same
questions as Skinner and Harris ( and provides no really new insight) of
course neither of those guys would be stupid enough to say that it is the
"idea" which propagates. Selection operates on species, behavior, and
cultural practices. That's where the real discussion should start.

RL: Both Blackmore and Dawkins have extensive bibliographies in their books;
indeed, since most of the cites are scientific publications, the commercial
books are little more than literature reviews, structured in such a way as
to support their arguments. To say they ignore others is a fallacy, a
nonsense.

GS: Just because the works are referenced does not mean that they are
described correctly, or given proper credit etc. Perhaps you weren't paying
attention when I said that the positions in question have been widely
mis-represented.

RL: But there are none so blind as those who will not see; dogma and
agenda can do that to a man.

GS: I have found that leveling the charge of dogmatism is frequently like
calling somebody a racist; it is frequently done in an attempt to discredit
the position without actually attacking it - it is frequently a kind of ad
hominem argument.

RL: Discussion with the wilfully ignorant is unrewarding.

GS: Yes, that's always the second part - "You're just being dogmatic so I'm
not gonna talk to you!"

Cordially,

Glen

"Richard Lancashire" <rlancashire at hotmail.com> wrote in message





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