Intellectual Tower of Babels
Glaring examples of parallel develops of same item but different words.
Ephinephrine vs. Adrenaline
As an undergraduate, one line of interest prompted library research into the nature of adrenaline while course work in another discipline required learning about epinephrine. A growing feeling of similarity prompted a divergence to explore this similarity only to find that the two were the same chemical molecule. Was it NIH that prevented the two fields from agreeing on a common term for this molecule as well as the related molecules (norepinephrine and noradrenaline)? How many students struggle because of no unity of semantics for the unity of reality?
(It was about this time that I was discoursing in a psychology class on the physiological impact of hashish when I suddenly became aware of unusual stares. Continuing on, I realized I was talking about political killings. How'd that happen? (I was talking about hashish, not using it.) Bingo. Never realized it before but both hashish and assassin are derived from the same source, a Middle East Machevillian who used a drug to have followers kill his rivals. This habitual politician of the Mid-East historical legacy is hashish and assassin. Somehow my neurobag connected the two and allowed me to slip from hashish to assassin.)
Demes vs. Memes
In its issue that selected the Man of the Millennium--Einstein, a good simple choice--Time magazine had an article about a school of thought that had developed the concept of "memes." To wit,
"Lately, this view, "cultural evolutionism," has been revived and given a new vocabulary. 'Meme'--a word chosen to stress the parallel with 'gene'--is the label for packets of cultural information ...."
Excuse me, but this concept was formalized and memorialized 2,500 years ago in the Cradle of Democracy. The Greeks established demes as political, economic and cultural units to develop a coherent, common body of knowledge for the gathering (legein) of life. The logic of legein was codified into legal laws with legislation and legitimization (Latin)--see Legere/Legein.
Quoting from the seminal, summary quotation justifying the revival of "cultural evoluntism," one can see the sameness of demes and memes: In the end the better ideas carry the day. (Sir James Frazier). Folks, that's democracy! demos cracy, demes rule ... divisions of people ruling on how to live their work, lives and culture!
There is no need for "memes" as a concept that one "could loosely [sic] call a social brain." The ink devoted to memes would better serve humanity if it were applied to exploring and expanding human understanding/application of demes.
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