Re: ality (cont'd)

From: Ray Recchia (
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 03:50:23 GMT

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    From: Ray Recchia <>
    Subject: Re: ality (cont'd)
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    At 04:38 PM 2/21/2002 -0800, you wrote:
    > > > > I'm going to be blunt. I wish you would quit wasting our time here.
    > > >
    > > >I understand that it's frustrating to be confronted with a refutation of
    > > >your cherished beliefs for which you have no answer. But getting me to
    > > >shut up won't change anything.
    > >
    > > Yes it will. It will mean that people with same basic assumptions can have
    > > a discussion about their common interests.
    >When everyone has the same basic assumptions, all you get is catechism.

    Like the old catechism of 1+1 = 2.

    > > It is like trying to have a discussion on punctuated equilibrium when
    > > someone keeps interrupting you to let everyone know that actually God
    > > created the Earth.
    >Already dealt with this false analogy. While God is neither verifiable nor
    >falsifiable, natural memory is a scientific hypothesis, with plenty of
    >evidence in favor. I've already presented some of the evidence on this
    >list. I suggest you take a look at Rupert Sheldrake's *The Presence of the
    > > > > Your real interest in not in memes but in 'morphic fields'.
    > > >
    > > >Ad hominem. Not that it makes the slightest difference, but my real
    > > >interest is in the question of freedom. That's what got me started down
    > > >this road.
    > >
    > > Yes and that where why you keep on insisting on this mind through time
    > > thing. Because you are emotionally unable to accept that you are caused
    > > by the physical world. Your thinking is ultimately not fact driven but
    > > emotion driven.
    >When people make comments like this, it's because they're
    >frustrated. They don't know how to deal with an argument they haven't
    >even begun to
    >comprehend, so they hurl insults.

    I think I comprehend very well. Here is a snip from 'Tue, 11 Dec 2001
    11:08:57 -0800 Re: Definition please' that I think pins down the emotional
    difficulty you are having.

    >Once you cross the line between the self-contained mental universe of
    >humanity and the blind workings of the organic realm, there's nothing to
    >stop you from descending all the way back to the most elementary bacteria.

    You have a problem similar to that of creationists. While the
    creationist's ego is threatened by a physical evolutionary continuum yours
    is threatened by the notion that your thinking processes share a common
    basis with other simpler organisms that also possess nervous systems.

    > > > > Your definition of memes requires acceptance of those ideas
    > > >
    > > >How can that be when I haven't mentioned morphic theory in months?
    > >
    > > All then lets look at your definition. According to you ideas and
    > > behaviors start out being reproduced 'intentionally'. In the case of the
    > > Southern accent example the intention may be subconscious.
    >This is incoherent. What I said was that memes can get started either
    >through intention, which is strictly conscious, or creativity, which is mostly

    You are right. It is incoherent.

    > > Then after a
    > > while according to you, the ideas or behaviors take on a life of their own
    > > and are reproduced without further subconscious human intention. At that
    > > point they become memes. When does this magical point occur when
    > > subconscious intentional reproduced behaviors turn into memes? Just
    > > after a while. It's really hard to say isn't it?
    >The distinction I'm making is exactly the same as the standard
    >psychological distinction between intention and habit. I'm simply
    >applying it to culture instead of the individual mind. The boundary is
    >fluid because that's the way it is with subjective existence.
    > > In fact it is a meaningless
    > > distinction that no one would have any reason to accept unless....hmm..
    > > maybe after being reproduced enough times they create a morphic
    > > impression or something of that sort?
    >You don't need morphic theory to distinguish intention from habit, whether
    >it's personal habit or memetic. This is yet another fallacy, known as
    >"poisoning the well."
    > > Isn' t that what that otherwise
    > > useless definition is about? Because according to you a behavior can
    > > be reproduced even subconsciously in its beginning stages without
    > > alteration and still not be a meme because it hasn't happened enough
    > > times.
    >It's a meme when it becomes habituated among a a group of people.

    It is an invalid analogy. The same meme is acquired by a mind once. Not
    multiple times. There is no habitual acquisition of memes.

    > > > > No one here accepts your ideas
    > > > > and after a while people just give up trying to argue with you.
    > > >
    > > >Appealing to the crowd. Well, at least you've switched over to another
    > > >fallacy. How refreshing.
    > >
    > > In fact Ted convince a different crowd and I would be happy to listen to
    > > you. Go to the cognitive scientists and push your hypothesis on them. I
    > > am not a cognitive scientist. I have some interest in it but for the
    > > purposes of developing memetics I think it makes more sense to start
    > > with the same assumptions accepted by recognized authorities in the
    > > field. If you can get some noted experts in the field to start quoting
    > > Sheldrake and yourself then I would be more than willing to take a second
    > > look.
    >An elaborate rationalization for telling me to shut up and go
    >away. Relax, Ray. These discussions run their course in due time. I'll
    >be moving on soon enough.

    There must be some list server on cognitive science out there that you can
    join. Good luck.

    Ray Recchia

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