Re: Memes & genes

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Sat 09 Nov 2002 - 20:27:01 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: Memes & genes"

    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    > Kenneth,
    > Are you claiming, then, that you could live a comfortable life without any
    > memes, any tools of culture, whatsoever?
    > Could you live without language or human contact of any kind?
    > Could you live without knowing how to plant crops, or build a house, or do
    > anthing that you learned from other people?

    That is not what I claim, I claim I can live my life without the memes needed to live in a certain cultural/ social group. On the other hand, like I said and I do understand this, belief me, I need some
    ' groups ', how should I call this, " some temporary co- existence relations
    " in order to get something ( to eat, to find the proper tool etc), but I don 't need the cultural guidance to do that. Without language it would be hard, I agree but not with the fact that I need human contact.

    Of course, I am a member of this list and you can argue that I seek human contact. That is not the case, I need information to give myself new oppor- tunities. I can live easily without knowing how to grow crops, I buy them in the shop at the corner, but that is not what you meant. For the record, I can easily live without anyone beside me, or to have someone to talk to. ( This, what we 're doing now, is not really talking isn
    't, it is just sharing information.)

    Maybe you can say that I don 't live up to the social/ cultural expectations of my time, that I wasted the full potential that I get inside me, but than again, are those notions not cultural/ socially driven !? So what, that my memes act out of their interest and that the ' I ' is aware of that fact !?

    > What you are calling individualism is not what I was talking about at all.
    > In the old days, when a man was cast out from his tribe to wander in the
    > desert (or the forest or the sea) is was considered a death sentence.
    > Without the help of other people, survival was extremely difficult. It
    > wasn't a matter of identity. It was a matter of not having the mental and
    > physical tools with which to survive in the wilderness.

    That is JUST the problem of today 's people, lacking the mental ability to stand up for themselves ! All of the people trim their sails to every wind that passes along_ you forget that the strenght is within not in the artefacts of your culture/ society. You forget the characteristics of the
    ' yourself '. I understand that for instance for a Russian exile is a death sentence, but that can be explained in terms of lacking completely an identity due to the history of his country.
    ( The problems of today in Russia are due to this kind of lacking an identity. The old Sovjet government did everything for its people, in- cluding providing it with a general political/ social/ cultural/ geogra- phic/... identity. With the fall of communism the whole structure of
    ' being someone '( literally) collapsed.)

    I, from my stand on the beach at this side of the water, I know who or what I am. The mental ability I got to survive in the wildenis, the physical endurance will get me in the end, I' m sure of that, but I don 't ( have to) pretend to be it otherwise in order to get some obscure support from the people within my social/ cultural group.

    And in cases that you would send me out to sea to die, yes it would be a case of identity. I don 't see that the search,( which we, in a sense all conduct ), for the one within runs throught the notion of living together with other people. If my life would fail the first thing that will spring to mind is to say that ' he stood alone ' and that death was the only solution. That is not true, my death would not be the confirmation that culture or society got a hold on me ! No way ! That is something I am sure of !

    Charles Taylor learned us to look at the human sense- or meaning patterns in our life as constructs of social mediation. For you perhaps, not for me. Due to circumstances I was forced to search my own way. The so called upon social safety nets were wasted on me, the social/ cultural memes you got during puberty I lacked, I built my life upon that amiss_ I constructed something positive out of a very negative situation.

    In a sense, mine ' me' is more ' mine ', yours is more social/ cultural conditioned so to speak. Hope you don 't get me wrong,...


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