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hi fellow meme-er,
<<<<Just a few quick comments, but I think we draw from different
The universe is full of stuff. However, anything we say about that stuff is
purely a concept—a set of memes—invented by human beings. All concepts are
composed of memes. For instance, the United States are only States because
we have invented 50 distinctions—memes—carving out that territory. Alabama
isn’t a reality, it’s just there because we say so, because we are
programmed with a meme for Alabama.
<<<lets not forget that the rolling hills or thick swamp or whatever they
have there, IS alabama, so in a way alabama exists. The state of Alabama can
also said to exist since the people who run the state government and all the
people who follow its rules and pay its taxes have a meme that tells them it
does. but you're right, it is a shared delusion that we chose to make a
reality. It is possible that there is some Anarchist hick (sorry about the
stereotype), or leftover from the confederacy that choses not to accept its
reality, but for the most part it is real because we say it is and perceive it
to be so.>>>>
If we didn’t have an Alabama meme, that
land would just be more dirt.
Likewise, the earth is simply a distinction—a meme—we invented because it
was convenient to put edges around the place we live in order to distinguish
it from the rest of the universe. To the universe, it’s all just stuff. You
may say, “But there really are edges! There’s where the dirt ends and the
atmosphere begins, or where the atmosphere gives way to outer space!”
Really? Dirt, atmosphere, outer space—they’re all memes. If you think dirt
is really dirt, not a meme we invented for our convenience, then all you’ll
ever have is dirt. If you see it’s a meme, and not the Truth, you open up
the possibility of other memes to talk about the same thing: elements,
crystals, subatomic particles. Remember, viewed through an electron
microscope, it’s all mostly empty space!
<<<<you got me there! so you are saying we create distinctions between
dirt,earth and outerspace. Is the world a big gray blur with no true
distinctions? perhaps, but it makes me wonder why science works so well when
we define seperate entities and use those distinctions to explain phenomena.
If these distinctions are false, or simple delusions, then we would expect
much of our predictions about those distinctions to show themselves false, and
despite chaos theory, that is simply not the case. The distinctions are
meaningful, but perhaps your point is they only mean something to us, but
I'll argue that the "universe" seems to "need" these distinctions as
How about this one: you are simply a distinction—a meme—we invented because
it was convenient to talk about the parts of the universe that feel pain
when hit with a hammer. To the universe, there’s no you, or human beings, or
giraffes, or solar systems, or galaxies. All those are human-invented
distinctions. They are all memes.
Now one more point: everything I just said, about the distinction between
objective reality and concepts, is a concept. It’s a meme. To the universe,
there’s no such thing as a concept. I just drew this distinction because it
was convenient to use when we’re talking about memetics.
Distinctions are one kind of meme. They are ways of carving up the world by
categorizing or labeling things.
When you create a distinction, you gain access to some things and lose
access to others. It’s useful to be conscious of what distinction-memes you’
re programmed with, and to know that all the distinctions you draw are
human-invented and not reality.
<<<<That is why we must draw distinctions that are predictive so that when a
phenomena occurs we can say "because the universe has distinctions, and
because I am able to perceive or erect similar distinctions, then I was able
to perceive those distinctions that approximate the universes' distinctions
and predict, with a degree of statistical accuracy, that phenomena would
occur". This is where the science of memetics will flourish, not in the
philosophical limbo of a distinctionless universe.>>>>>>
Distinctions, as I just mentioned, are one kind of meme that contributes to
your programming. Someone educated (programmed) in the memes of French will
behave differently in France from someone who has no knowledge of the
language—his mind will recognize meaning where others will hear only noise.
Someone programmed with the distinction Coca-Cola will be more likely to buy
Coke than the store brand of cola. Her mind will recognize the familiar red
can with the white swish; the store brand will not register because she has
no distinction-meme for it.
The Coca-Cola company knows this, by the way, which is why their logo has
grown bigger and bigger over the years until today the entire front panel of
a seven-foot-tall Coke machine bears the distinctive red-and-white
Advertisers, politicians, and anyone else who wants your money or support
are very interested in programming you with certain distinctions over
others, and understanding the distinctions you see the world through so they
can take advantage of them. What are you more likely to buy for breakfast: a
slice of chocolate cake or a “chocolate-chip muffin”? Calling a round piece
of high-fat chocolate cake a “muffin” takes advantage of the distinctions
you have around breakfast food and increases sales. My local cafe has just
come out with scone-shaped brownies! Of course, no one would eat brownies
for breakfast, but scones—!
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