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Friday, May 15, 2015

Young Student: Heed E.O.Wilson's Advice

Young student, you won't yet find a university with a memetics department.  In fact the discipline is still in such a formative stage you'll be hard-pressed to find an adviser or committee who will validate your interest.  Be your own champion. 

This does not mean you should strike out completely on your own in isolation, walkout of a scholarship or eschew mentors from established fields who remain skeptical of memetic theory.  Lean into such associations, they will teach you the ropes of academic disciplines and strengthen your intellectual rigor.

You may need to pursue studies outside of the recognized, hard sciences to find memetic subjects worthy of your interest, and you may receive criticism from your scientific contemporaries who have chosen well-worn paths.  Do not hesitate to venture on the less-worn trails and apply the scientific method to previously sacrosanct subjects.

Follow the advice of E.O. Wilson in his Letters to A Young Scientist:

*  Ideas emerge when a part of the real or imagined world is studied for its own sake.

*  A thorough, well-organized knowledge of all that is known of the relevant entities and processes that might be involved in (memetics) is vital to sucess.

*  It is important in choosing the direction to take to find the subject that interests you deeply, and focus on that.

*  In selecting a subject in which to conduct original research, or to develop world-class expertise, take a part of the chosen discipline that is sparsely inhabited.  Judge opportunity by how few other students and researchers are on hand.

*  March away from the sound of the guns. Observe from a distance, but do not join the fray. Make a fray of your own.

*  In the attempt to make scientific discoveries, every problem is an opportunity, and the more difficult the problem, the greater will be the importance of its solution.