From: Philip Jonkers (email@example.com)
Date: Tue 29 Oct 2002 - 09:29:00 GMT
> "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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