Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id QAA06350 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Mon, 18 Feb 2002 16:58:25 GMT Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 11:53:05 -0500 Subject: Re: Words and memes: criteria for acceptance of new belief or meme Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed From: "Wade T.Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit In-Reply-To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Message-Id: <FA39EA30-248F-11D6-88A5-003065B9A95A@harvard.edu> X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.480) Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Monday, February 18, 2002, at 10:59 , Francesca S. Alcorn wrote:
> Where I lived in Africa, the people believed that lightning was "called
> down" on you by people you had pissed off (or rather by the witch
> doctor who was *paid* by the people you had pissed off. - a sort of
> lightning-for-hire scenario). While this may not have led to an
> invention of the lightning rod, it certainly made people a little more
> cautious and careful around each other - which probably strengthened
> social bonds/community. So it may not have been verifiable in the
> sense that you are talking about, but it had it's pay offs.
What is verifiable and empirical is the bank-account (or whatever passes
for lucre) of the shaman in that tribe. His behavior is also definable
and predictable by the same accounts....
Who starts a confidence trick, and why? I prefer Barnum to Freud.
And, like Neitschze, I say 'science is the original sin'. How sweet the
blow that hoists the sham(an)'s head upon the spike.
Franklin ain't on the hundred dollar bill for nothin'.
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