Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Mon Apr 08 2002 - 21:20:40 BST

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

    Received: by id VAA02354 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Mon, 8 Apr 2002 21:26:52 +0100
    X-Originating-IP: []
    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1011
    Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 13:20:40 -0700
    Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
    Message-ID: <>
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 08 Apr 2002 20:20:41.0187 (UTC) FILETIME=[DA9C7B30:01C1DF3A]
    Precedence: bulk

    >On Monday, April 8, 2002, at 02:34 , Scott Chase wrote:
    >>Evolution via selection has tuned the receptors and learning
    >>has tuned cognition.
    >The receptors are just that. There is no 'thought' involved in
    >the very perception of light via the eyes. But there is
    >'thought' involved in the _focus_ of these same orbs.
    >Evolution has created the receptor as well as determined the
    >_usage_ of these in normal states.
    >But the observations required by the creative process are
    >_prior_ to, or outside of, the following preconceptions that
    >thought will entwine upon the received data.
    >And I am talking about a level of observation that does not
    >involve thought in the conscious sense I think you're using it.
    >The eureka moment is not pre-conceived, although the work
    >preceding it is vast and structured.
    >Every description of the creative process I've ever encountered,
    >from scientists, artists, cooks, carpenters, ad infinitum, every
    >one, without fail, has remarked upon this moment of clear
    >reception, or _unconscious_ synthesis, and in very many cases,
    >the actual words used are 'I saw this as if I were looking at it
    >for the very first time.'
    >And it is that 'as if it were the very first time' that I'm
    >talking about.
    >- Wade

    I would say that observation is a form of thought. Light impulses come into
    the eye and activate the rods and cones, sending electronic signals through
    the brain, activating several processing centers and end up in the amigdula
    where they are "identified" based on past experience and added to our map of
    the world.

    Past experience gives us a preconceived bias about what category to put the
    signals in and past experience with language influences what we call the
    whole of our observation. There is no seeing without thinking, although it
    may not consist of conscious or directed thought.

    Our emotions also contribute a large share of input to the experience.
    Seeing beauty is a largely emotional response based on preconceived ideas
    and experience. The same goes for ugly and all the other categories
    governed by emotion. But it's all part of the process we call seeing and
    hearing and feeling of any kind. Things smell good or bad and taste good or
    bad depending on our previous experience with similar fragrances and
    assaults upon our taste buds. We can't divorce these preconceptions from
    our observations. They are there and they help shape what we perceive, as
    does the language with which we describe them. (See Language, thought and
    reality: selected writings of Benjamin Lee Worf.)



    Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger:

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Apr 08 2002 - 21:37:48 BST