Re: electric meme bombs

Date: Sun 03 Nov 2002 - 05:31:27 GMT

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    > On Saturday, November 2, 2002, at 02:56 , Van oost Kenneth wrote:
    > > where does a [completely] new behavior come from [in the pemetic
    > > model]
    > The peme itself is new, every time, as I've said, and it _is_ the
    > behavior, and, since even the best performer is not aware of the
    > _actual_ final performance, since his own skill level is a variable at
    > all times, and the environment is not under his absolute control, his
    > performance _is_ new behavior, by simple point of circumstance.
    > (This novelty is a prime axiom of the pemetic model, as I've
    > constantly reiterated, only to be misunderstood or ridiculed, mostly
    > both at the same time. It is not a novelty that needs a new name, any
    > more than one performance of Dvorak's Eighth needs a different name
    > from another, but, these two are not the same performance, now, are
    > they? And it is not a novelty that needs to be reborn every time,
    > since there are no moments of amnesia involved.)
    > But, I don't think that answers your question, and the pemetic moment
    > is not the _completely_ creative moment you're looking for some
    > comment about. The eureka moment, the moment when a new thing becomes
    > known to an individual, is a moment of synthesis that, IMHO, neither
    > memesinthemind, nor any other memetic conjecture has any answer for.
    > Joe would say (I put words in his mouth) that this mutation in the
    > mind is some process of mind mixing with meme-ory, and that's a good
    > conjecture, but no-one has any real clue to the eureka moment
    > cognitively, and his whole 'meme-ory' concept looks a lot like memory
    > to begin with, talking like it, and walking like it. Lots of people
    > say lots of things about creativity, none of them mentioning memes,
    > and indeed, if memes are units of culture, it doesn't matter to _any_
    > memetic theory _where_ they came from, just what is done with them
    > once they are there.
    > One of the reasons I read the things I do, and watch the things I
    > watch, and listen to the things I listen to, is because I do want to
    > know why someone does something for the first time. I'm especially
    > interested in why the first person went into a cave and made the
    > drawings that we've found there. Talk about cultural artifacts we have
    > only conjectural ideas about....
    > And, well, just where, in any theory, _does_ a truly new thing come
    > from?
    > Humans do new things. That would _seem_ to be self-evident. And the
    > rest of the animals about don't. Lots of people would say that, too.
    > But, well, evolution does new things all the time. How does it do
    > that?
    > Trial and error. Mutation. Sex.
    > Humans are products of evolution, not evolution itself, so, hmm, is it
    > really true that they do new things?
    > In one respect, every spider web is a new thing (in essence, of
    > course, it is), since it is different, in minute and subtle ways, each
    > time. Is 'different' enough of a requisite for 'new'. Well, in some
    > definitions of 'new', yes.
    > So, when a human does something that is considered new, let's say,
    > composes a new melody, what has happened?
    > Shall I just say that is a matter for about three hundred libraries
    > full of analysis? Sure, I'll say it, and I doubt too many people would
    > disagree with me. But, I do see it as something analogous to a
    > spider's web- the new melody is a musical way of spanning the new
    > space between two twigs where there was a twig and a wall before.
    > But alas, we don't have the answer to how creativity happens. But, it
    > does seem to be related to experience, to hard and concentrated work,
    > and to some serendipitous moment or stimulus from outside the
    > immediate focus of the inventor.
    > We've discussed the eureka moment here, I think. No real answer, but,
    > I have seen no evidence that memes are needed.
    > New things come the same way they always have. Trial and error.
    > Mutation. Sex.
    > And, yes, the last thing, 'sex', is missing in memetic theory, mostly
    > because cultural evolution doesn't have the sort of analog for sex
    > that it does for trial and error (practically the same thing, try it
    > and see, and, 'oops', that one was a mistake, but, hmmm, it looks like
    > it works), and mutation (related to whimsy and to change, as how pulp
    > sci-fi and cowboy serials become Star Wars, and Bugs Bunny and
    > Kurosawa become anime.).
    > So, do we have an analog for the missing sex in memetics? I know I've
    > asked that question before here, too. Got a few interesting comments.
    > So, does it come as no surprise that I see the peme as the analog for
    > sex in memetic theory? Of course it doesn't....
    > The performance of a peme is the memetically sexual act. This is where
    > the two sexes, performer and observer (cum cultural environment), meet
    > and relate and the new thing happens. The fact that it's most often a
    > group sex experience is perhaps a bit put-offing to some, but, well,
    > there it is.
    > So, long ramble made brief, I don't know, but I'm intensely
    > interested, and, I don't think any memetic theory needs to know.
    Since Wade dismisses both similarity and type-token construction in his insistence that every thing is a new thing, unrelated to what came before, he has, and can have, no distinctions between the first clumsy time a kid tries to ski and his/her Olympic-Gold-Medal-Winning slalom 20 years later, not any explanation for the quantum difference in skills displayed between them. If every performance is an entirely new performance, nothing can be learned or gained from what has gone before, and one's thousandth beer or ten thousandth cigarette is indistinguishable from one's first, in being, just like the others, entirely unlike them.
    > - Wade
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