Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id KAA16529 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Tue, 30 Apr 2002 10:46:50 +0100 Message-ID: <570E2BEE7BC5A34684EE5914FCFC368C10FC80@fillan.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: Shakers Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 10:41:09 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19) Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1" X-Filter-Info: UoS MailScan 0.1 [D 1] Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
<And, one can have sex after sitting in a Shaker chair.>
I'm tempted to ask whether one could have sex whilst sitting in a
Shaker chair... that would be taking the conversation into the gutter though
so I won't....
Good example though of why there seems little problem with artefacts
being memes, but much more of a problem for beliefs/ideas. Unless one
accepts the transmission of the latter to occur through other, not
insignificant, artefacts like books. If the outline of the shaker practices
remains in written form somewhere, it could re-ignite again at some point in
the future, regardless of the lack of actual practice in the intervening
In my weird train of thought this brings me to all those historical
re-enactment societies (I quite fancy the Roman legion one that appears on
UK TV from time to time, although I think my wife would divorce me on the
spot if I did ever dress up as a roman soldier). A mate of mine at school,
when we were studying ancient history, was moved (out of desperation I
think, although he rationalised it out) to offer an invocation to Zeus,
rather than pray to God to help him pass his exams. Neil Gaiman (comic book
writer and novellist) often writes about what happens to gods etc. when
no-one believes in them any more (I believe his recent novel 'American Gods
(?) covers that exact topic- I'd read it if I ever had time to read novels;
I always make time to read comic books, the most unfairly maligned of the
arts, but that's another story).
ANYWAY, the shaker thing is a clear example to me, of one of the key
differences between cultural, and biological evolution, and thus why there's
a need for some kind of new model for cultural hange/development/
transmission/evolution, whatever you want to call it. (Doesn't mean memetics
is it, but it's a start).
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