The Epidemiology of Ideas and the Explanation Industry

Sat, 12 Feb 1994 01:32:04 -0500

"epidemiology of ideas." This is good, because good epidemiologists don't
just look at the spread of disease, they look for ways to inoculate people.
I would hope that once anthropologists start tracking the movement of
memes, they might start exploring vaccines to fend off the more noxious
ones, and move from epidemiology to public health.
Hmm, now I wonder, isn't that contrary to cultural relativism?

Now, regarding the Explanation Industry of Dan Foss...
Forgive me, Dr. Foss, but I could not help but notice the fact that your
implication was that society is spending a lot of its resources explaining
itself to itself.
This does not appear to me to be a bad thing. After all,
self-organization increases when self-reference does.

I happen to like the Explanation Industry. It seems to me that a good
part of the memes produced therein are better than those produced by, say,
the Advertising Industry, or the Trashy Romance Novel industry; but that's
just my two cents. I think the Explanation Industry should be gobbling up
as much of the Gross Information Product (GIP) as possible; I much prefer
explanations to, say, gross speculations, overgeneralizations, specious
rationalizations, and mystifications; and there are plenty of Industries
for producing *those.*
Those of us in the Explanation Industry have nothing to be ashamed
of. I think all we need is a union. Our symbolic capital is constantly
being appropriated, leaving us alienated from our memetic production.
BTW, I hope that your floor was comfortable. (Mine generally is.)
Seeker1 [@Nervm.Nerdc.Ufl.Edu] (real info available on request)
Anthropologist, Cybernaut, PoMoDemite, Noetician, Situationiste, et al.
University of Florida, Gainesville, Cosmic Nexus of the Universal Matrix
"'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds!" --Malaclypse the Younger