Life in Organizations LO10127

Dr Ilfryn Price (
Sun, 22 Sep 1996 05:16:18 -0400

Replying to LO10092 --


Thanks for the kind words

>If's response to Peter Marks sounds right, but I needed to think it

>Is genetic replication, compared to memic replication, more repetitive and
>more accurate? You have to specify the viewpoint and units of analysis
>before answering.


Being me I naturally read what I am forewarned not to so I would like to
take up your postcript.

>I'm glad that Richard Dawkins, by using the word "meme", stirred interest
>in looking at culture as if it were a system of genes. But I don't
>understand why linguists and anthropologists didn't speak up and say that,
>indeed, it is a good idea that has been in use since the early 60s.

Firstly we should be clear that Dawkins specifically denies that
intention. He states introducing *meme* to explore the power of systems
based on a replicator. I do not know the linguistics work you described
but there are other schools [e.g. economists] who had also explored the
analogy of cultural and biological systems. So far as I am familiar with
the literature none really examined them from the replicator's [gene's or
meme's] perspective.

You conclude your main message with:

> Also, memic evolution is driven faster because the speaker can select or
>even coin effective expressions instead of waiting for one to occur
>randomly. A lot of what is chosen, however, is reassuring repetition.

My take on that is that the reassuring repetition, the attachment to what
we already know, and the stuckness observed in organisations is, *from the
meme's perspective,* just fine. Seeing it thus has given me, with my prior
attachment to natural sciences, a handle on many of the issues we discuss
on this list that I did not previously have.

If Price
The Harrow Partnership
Pewley Fort Guildford UK


Dr Ilfryn Price <>

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