Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Mon Apr 08 2002 - 20:46:30 BST

  • Next message: Grant Callaghan: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011"

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011
    Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 12:46:30 -0700
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    >>>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
    >bucket theory, one of those "blank state" notions that we are empty and
    >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
    >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
    >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
    >hyperempirist approach by mention of tools, technologies, and traditions.
    >Tools and technologies presuppose some theory that either goes into
    >the tool, which could serve as a filter or carver of reality. Technologies
    >are complexin themselves and have a whole groundwork of theories bhind
    >Traditions is a term whose presupposed theoretical biases which are
    >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.

    It sounds to me like you're reading a lot into Wade's writing that isn't
    really there. The term "borders on" suggests that it wasn't really what he
    said. Isn't that the old straw man trick? I assert you "almost" said
    something that I can easily knock down and then proceed to do it. Ahh, the
    game of language -- isn't it fun!



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