Re: I know one when I see one

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Thu 31 Oct 2002 - 04:51:45 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: I know one when I see one"

    On Wednesday, October 30, 2002, at 05:14 , wrote:

    > If a
    > choreographer thinks of an extra step in a routine and then performs it,
    > you would have to call the addition an accidental mistake

    No, nothing in the behavior-only model would call that a mistake, an accident, or both. I still fail to see how you come to that conclusion. But, the mere thought of this action is insufficient to produce an observable _res_, to fall back to latin, and thus is memetically, and thus culturally, impotent. Just as the mere thought of your singing is insufficient to produce a song. You have to actually sing. And someone has to actually hear it.

    If a meme is an impotent thing, stuck in the head, I fail to see how it is culturally active.

    In your example, the choreographer (who might also need to communicate to a dancer in order to have the actuality performed, as not all choreographers can actually perform their dances, just as all composers cannot perform their musics, Milton Babbitt being the best example I know of) still has to get the step _performed_ and _observed_ in some way.

    The fact that composers 'hear' things in their head, or dancers 'see' steps in theirs, is cognitively interesting, and perhaps, one day, observable by instruments (at which point they might, indeed, become culturally potent), but, in all the meanwhiles and in all the times before the meanwhiles, culturally, and thus memetically, this is only a
    _part_ of the process of creating the meme- which must be potent, and thus, must be performed and observed. Performance and observation are two irreducible, intractable, and undeniable qualities of the meme.

    But again, this is all from the view of the behavior-only stance, which is, as we all know, a definitional and analytical stance, _not_ a behavioralist stance, or even a biological one.

    Whether we know it or not, we do have to see it.

    - Wade

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