Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Mon Apr 08 2002 - 17:43:26 BST

  • Next message: Wade Smith: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011"

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    From: "Scott Chase" <>
    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011
    Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 12:43:26 -0400
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    >From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011
    >Date: Sun, 07 Apr 2002 18:27:21 -0700
    >>On Sunday, April 7, 2002, at 04:33 , Jarmo Pystynen wrote:
    >>>"Have you ever realized that in the perfect state of observation you,
    >>>observer, you the thinker, the center cease to exist?"
    >>And I wrote not three days ago, to another, a concerningly similar-
    >>"The true act of observation is done in silence- no thoughts impede- it
    >>is a totally receptive state. And, within this state, what flows in the
    >>mind, and what processes congeal and form to bring sense to this
    >>silence, is the creative process, and, it works as well upon the field
    >>of science (and as validly) as it does upon the field of art and poetry,
    >>each with their own tools and experiences and cultures and technologies
    >>and practitioners and traditions. But it is where one takes the fruits
    >>of this silence that determines what is to be next- science or poetry.
    >>Facts or feelings."
    >>- Wade
    >I liked that description. From the quote marks around it I guess it was
    >original or was from something you wrote earlier. But I'm glad you were
    >able to pass it along anyway.
    Wade's uber-empiricist stance borders on what Popper would have derided as a
    bucket theory, one of those "blank state" notions that we are empty and free
    from preconceived biases that filter our observations. Borrowing liberally
    from Popper, I'll use a little experiment of his that pretty much nips the
    hyperempiricist tabula rasa "bucket theory" notion in the bud.

    From _Objective Knowledge: an Evolutionary Approach_(1979. Clarendon Press,
    Oxford, p. 59) Popper says:

    (bq) "My experiment consists of asking you to *observe*, here and now. I
    hope you are all co-operating, and observing! However, I fear that at least
    some of you, instead of observing, will feel a strong urge to ask: 'WHAT do
    you want me to observe?'" (eq)

    Thus, it is possible that expectations or hypotheses precede observations.
    Observation is theory laden. It is not "pure". There are presuppositions
    involved and our cognitive filters (based on thought patterns we have had)
    carve our experience of reality for us. This pretty much goes back to Kant's
    assertion that we impose our own laws upon nature via the categories. How
    anybody with a sociobiological bias (Wade) could disagree with this Kantian
    notion is beyond me, though he implicitly hints toward the refutation of the
    hyperempirist approach by mention of tools, technologies, and traditions.
    Tools and technologies presuppose some theory that either goes into crafting
    the tool, which could serve as a filter or carver of reality. Technologies
    are complexin themselves and have a whole groundwork of theories bhind them.
    Traditions is a term whose presupposed theoretical biases which are inherent
    is self-explanatory. Traditions presuppose knowledge which has come
    bforehand and has been inherited from previous generations in a field.
    Within the lenses of this tradition one's observations are filtered.

    There's no silent purity. Thoughts do impede as abstraction from reality is
    an active and creative process. Observation is theory-laden.

    MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos:

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