Re: Aunger speaks

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Thu 14 Nov 2002 - 15:25:05 GMT

  • Next message: Grant Callaghan: "RE: Mini case study of memetic mutation"

    >On Thursday, November 14, 2002, at 09:05 , Vincent Campbell wrote:
    >>Basically Levinson's argument is one of "soft" technological determinism,
    >>whereby information and communication technologies had major societal
    >>consequences, but not necessarily ones intended or foreseen by the
    >>of the technology
    >This is also the argument of the performance-only model, as the intent of
    >the performer (the technology of the inventor) is not necessarily forwarded
    >by the actual performance (technology). There is no guarantee, regardless
    >of rehearsal or skill, that any performance is ordained.
    >>telephone was intended by Bell to be a device to help the hard of hearing
    >It would be interesting to find a list of such inventions moved askew from
    >original intent. It is for this reason that IMHO deriving _intent_ (and
    >thus meaning) is futile, at core. The meaning mutates in performance,
    >because of performance.
    >- Wade
    I think intent is only important in the beginning to get the meme transmitted. As a tool, a meme can be used for many things and the original intent doesn't have much to do with what later uses will be made of the tool. The idea that all you are transmitting with a meme is the intent of the inventor seems too limiting. The more uses we can find for a tool the faster it will spread.

    Mickey Mouse was originally an intertainment device to amuse children. Now it's a device to sell clothing, comic books, club membership, toys, etc., the list goes on. Mickey Mouse is still the original meme of Walt Disney but I doubt that he envisioned DisneyLand when he invented it. He was just trying to come up with a cute cartoon that he could sell to the public. He had no idea what the public would do with his invention.


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