Re: Words and memes: criteria for acceptance of new belief or meme

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 18:47:09 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Words and memes: criteria for acceptance of new belief or   meme
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    On Monday, February 18, 2002, at 12:43 , Francesca S. Alcorn wrote:

    > Barnum *knows* he's a con, and the Shaman *knows* that he's not. It's
    > all in the memes. (my belief memes, not your behavioral memes - by
    > your lights they are indistinguishable.)

    Correct- I see nothing indistinguishable in either 'knows'.

    > A witch doctor does things *outside* of what is socially acceptable -
    > calling down lightning, casting curses, poisoning etc - while a shaman
    > works for and inside of social norms.

    I call a spade a spade. Witch doctor is a crude term for a shaman,
    perhaps, but they are both doing things _accepted within_ their culture,
    and outside of science. Thus, you will find the modern witch doctor in
    your local newage book store or homeopathic distribution retail outlet.

    Many proponents of magical thinking actually call themselves shamans.

    The shaman is totally a function of its culture.

    - Wade

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