From: Wade T.Smith (email@example.com)
Date: Fri 01 Nov 2002 - 10:50:32 GMT
On Friday, November 1, 2002, at 04:20 , firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> It is when you deny their connections and thus deny their common
> membership in single systems
Again, I see no such claim, no such denial, being made, at any point. I
am not _attempting_ to make such. It has to be an error of my expression
if you think that I am.
> there is massive
> continuity over time; otherwise, things like culture and evolution (and
> many others) make no sense.
Absolutely. I also enjoy the elementary.
> I have fMRI proof that stimulation of certain neurons causes certain
> behaviors (as well as certain thoughts and perceptions) as well as P53
> location proof that a cortical action potential is physically
> generated a
> half second before a decision to engage in a physical action
> consciously made.
And you call this proof a 'meme'. I actually accept that as an axiom of
the memesinthemind model.
All I, and the bemetic model is saying is, there _will be_ an action
after this stimulation, (after all, what the fMRI is observing _is_ the
process of an _action_), and it is the _action_ and the _observer_ of
this action that are relevant to cultural continuation.
> what you are really doing is denying the
> efficacy of the human self and the utility of both will and ideation.
Not a bit of it. Sorry, but such criticism is unfounded and specious, if
not totally off the mark. The bemetic model revels in the self. The self
(precisely as you yourself describe it, for I used your definition as a bedrock) is absolutely a most demanded and efficacious element of the bemetic model. There would be no behavior without the self. All of what you call will and ideation are the preparations for the performance, and there would be no performance without them.
> What the hell do you call behavior-*ONLY*, hmmmmmmm?
This is another area where either you fail to see, or I fail to
communicate, or both. It would perhaps have been more exact if I had
said 'performance-only', as you have a tender button pushed with the
word 'behavior' which seems to instantly get you to thinking
'behavioralist', and I'm not one of those, and the bemetic model is not a behavioralist model.
> Excise your brain and show ME a behavior
I can't. I'm not asking myself or anyone else too, either, in fact, I'm
agreeing with you- there can be no behaviors without the brain in a
> I can, with a brain in a vat,
> remove the rest of my body and show you thoughts.
And I'm not arguing with that, either. It's just that those thoughts can
not become behaviors. And, since they cannot become behaviors, they are
useless to cultural continuation, and thus, irrelevant.
The 'behavior(performance)-only' model of cultural evolution is merely
saying that performance is a first requirement for cultural transfer- it
is not concerned with the preparations for the performance anymore than
a playgoer is concerned with what the playwright had for breakfast.
> To use what must logically be true for what is evidentiarily witnessed
> criticise that which denies its own logical parentage is eminently
Yes, I can see your point- it is logically true (at least, with my small
grasp of logic, I think it is), that some thought must precede behavior,
but it is not logically true to equate them. As you say, the excised
brain can think, but it can not perform.
> It is like a painter criticizing a batch of paint because the
> sees no need for pigment.
That sounds like a perfectly valid criticism to me. I don't think it's
the way _you're_ criticizing _me_, however, (I think the way you're
criticizing me is pointing to the back of the canvas), as the bemetic
model's paint is very, very, full of pigment. It even applies this paint
to a surface, which the memeinthemind model does not.
The memeinthemind model is a paintinthemind model, and there are no
museums with any paintings from this artist. It is lost in its
conjectures about how the mind prepares for performance, not striding
towards discussing how that performance continues culture.
> And every one was different.
> But not totally so.
No, completely and totally so, indeed every moment is totally not any
other. Time now is not time then. And thus, every performance is
different from every other. Time and space. There is no realm of vacuum
of time and space in which identical moments exist. (Well, perhaps in
some esoterica of quantum theory there might be.) And there are no two
selves identical to each other. And no two behaviors. In many real and
discernible ways, that foot of yours, walking along, is not the same
foot from instant to instant. It is the continuity and stability of
things that pattern moments into a stream, like the frames of a movie.
It is incomprehensible to me how you can claim any non-difference of
moments in time and space. But I am _not_ denying that an unimaginably
and _almost_ total amount of continuity of matter and motion is
maintained from one moment to another. In this way, I see your 'not
We both argued, rather convincingly, I would say, against the MR model,
because that model assumed an endless moment that denied time. It would
seem to me that asking for each moment to be 'not totally' different is
making the same error, although not to such a grandly mistaken scale.
Any model of evolution is concerned with continuances through these
moments, however, as I'm sure that is what you mean when you say 'not
totally', and the bemetic model is concerned with the continuances
within and of performances, only. The memesinthemind model is concerned
with continuances of thoughts. I just don't see how thoughts manage to
effect culture without observed performance, and observed performance is
affected by the environment, and not just by the actions of the (however
well) prepared performer.
Cage's most famous 4'33" is a work entirely constructed to define the
observer's place in the cultural environment and his effect upon the
performance. It is a wonderful example of intentional non-behavior.
From the article "History of Experimental Music in the United States"
published in 1959 (pp 71-72):
[...] in connection with musical continuity, Cowell remarked at the New
School before a concert of works by Christian Wolff, Earle Brown, Morton
Feldman, and myself, that here were four composers who were getting rid
of glue. That is: Where people had felt the necessity to stick sounds
together to make a continuity, we four felt the opposite necessity to
get rid of the glue so that sounds would be themselves.
Christian Wolff was the first to do this. He wrote some pieces
vertically on the page but recommended their being played horizontally
left to right, as is conventional. Later he discovered other geometrical
means for freeing his music of intentional continuity. Morton Feldman
divided pitches into three areas, high, middle, and low, and established
a time unit. Writing on graph paper, he simply inscribed numbers of
tones to be played at any time within specified periods of time.
There are people who say, "If music's that easy to write, I could do
it." Of course they could, but they don't. I find Feldman's own
statement more affirmative. We were driving back from some place in New
England where a concert had been given. He is a large man and falls
asleep easily. Out of a sound sleep, he awoke to say, "Now that things
are so simple, there's so much to do." And then he went back to sleep.
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