Re: Meme-physics

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Tue 29 Oct 2002 - 09:29:00 GMT

  • Next message: Philip Jonkers: "Re: electric meme bombs"

    > "pink unicorn" popped into my head when I was seraching for a lexeme that
    > would serve as a means of conveying the possibility (not likelihood or
    > certainty so don't all get your dander up in a lather) that memes are but
    > illusion. "Invisible pink unicorn" has some historic precedence as a tool
    > show the futility of invoking an intelligent designer as creationists do,
    > this is usually the Judeochristian god and someone could counter with
    > it could have been done by invisible pink unicorns so what's your point'?
    > "Pink unicorn" in my sense (*sensu* me) is just a general imaginary
    > As I've recently said "mirage" could do just as well or maybe
    > "will-o'-the-wisp", though a debate could ensue between unicornists,
    > miragists, and wispers. All I was pointing out was we should stop and
    > consider the possibility that there are no cultural units called memes, in
    > which case debate over internalist versus externalist aspects gets the rug
    > pulled from beneath it. The "old Yeller" allusion was an MST3K way of
    > that there's a time for putting one's cherished "pet" ideas down.
    > cries at the end of "Old Yeller" so that may have been too troubling an
    > allusion, but it does point out the trouble with becoming emotionally
    > invested in one's ideas. I'll try not to get too attached to my pink
    > unicorn. What do pink unicorns (invisible or otherwise) eat anyway?
    > The spirit I was trying to bring across is stated best by Lorenz (though
    > I've got my reservations about him now): "It is a good morning exercise
    > a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before
    > It keeps him young." [Konrad Lorenz. 1966. On Aggression. Harvest/HBJ. New
    > York, p. 12]
    > This likewise applies to pink unicorns I suppose, but at this point I'm
    > sure either of the other memetic alternatives has yet warranted getting
    > of Pinky quite yet.

    Okay, thanks for your clarification Scott. However, perhaps we should consider memes to have an identical role as the wave-function has in quantum mechanics. That's is, it is not exactly real but it is darn handy in providing a relevant description of the scenario it is invoked for.


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