RE: Shakers

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Tue Apr 30 2002 - 10:41:09 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Shakers
    Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 10:41:09 +0100
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            <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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