Don't you have enough Virion's contacting you off-list already? Now you tell us that you surf "Sex and Gender" sites as well? You could wake up as a net celebrity if you're not careful.
> I propose two questions to everyone on the list.
> 1) What is your response to this person's comments on memetics?
First, I'll paste in and number the criticisms for the convenience of those who may not have followed the link:
The word "meme" is, of course, itself a meme, and not one I embrace wholeheartedly. 0) There are dangers in borrowing the glory of the most rigorous branch of biology for an upstart idea that is so far innocent of mathematics. 1) And most of the 'discoveries' in memetics so far are old news on Madison Avenue; many of them would be no surprise to Cicero. 2) A cynical person might see memetics as a power play on the part of certain biologists, who would like to substitute their own reductionist metaphors for the language of the humanities. 3) At the least, if we are going to talk about the genetics of ideas, we should also talk about their morphogenesis: their development, their inner structures, their organic wholeness.
0) While the structure of this and the next sentence seem to indicate
that the criticisms start here, this "first" one is completely vacuous.
0) While the structure of this and the next sentence seem to indicate that the criticisms start here, this "first" one is completely vacuous.
Kristy's Second Question:
> 2) Honestly, what is YOUR definition of gender?
> (make sure you distinguish between 'sex' and 'gender' first, as in
> biological vs. social)
Sex and gender are, for the purposes of everyday conversation, synonyms. Here's what WWWebster has to say on the matter:
Gender \Gen"der\, n. [OF. genre, gendre (with excrescent d.), F. genre,
fr. L. genus, generis, birth,
descent, race, kind, gender, fr. the root of genere, gignere, to
beget, in pass., to be born, akin to E. kin.
See Kin, and cf. Generate, Genre, Gentle, Genus.] 1. Kind; sort.
[Obs.] ``One gender of herbs.''
2. Sex, male or female. [Obs. or Colloq.]
3. (Gram.) A classification of nouns, primarily according to
sex; and secondarily according to some
fancied or imputed quality associated with sex.
Gender is a grammatical distinction and applies to words only.
Sex is natural distinction and applies to
living objects. --R. Morris.
Note: Adjectives and pronouns are said to vary in gender when
the form is varied according to the
gender of the words to which they refer.
If one presupposes that there is a distinction to be made, then I'd go along with the notion that sex is biological and gender is sociological/psychological. I don't slice it any thinner than that. If someone else wants to, I'll play along, but I can't promise that I'll remember the distinction 6 months from now.
I realize that's a pretty superficial answer to your question, Kristy, and if you'd like to probe deeper... oh.... this is going to the list, isn't it? If you would like to ask some clarificatory questions, I'll be happy to answer them.
BTW, Kristy, what are you wearing?