From: Wade T.Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed 20 Nov 2002 - 13:57:46 GMT
On 11/19/02 23:40, email@example.com said this-
>The central problem is that most people have not yet figured how to
>decouple their belief from their imagination.
Boy, is that ever right. I was asked, just the other night, how I could
like science-fiction so much when I was an atheist- as if my belief
system (regardless of its basis in rational and critical thinking) was
part of and dependent upon my imagination, and once I could imagine a
god, I had to believe in it.
Of course I like fantasy and speculation, I answered- fantasy and
speculation are, after all, all that any god ever was- it's just that I
prefer the more modern authors and, yes, truth to tell, find most
religious texts tedious and overblown. Just imagine, I went on, if the
bible were to be published today, with no memory in the human species of
it- how far would it get in the best-seller lists? Would it even make it
past the first printing? Would any publisher actually print it?
But the real problem with the pace of change, or rather our inability to
truly affect it programmatically in any real decisive and intentional
way, is simply that change has always been with us. What we always
attempt to do, through societies and laws and arts and memes, is to keep
an observed part of it static. Can't happen, won't happen, impossible,
but, perceptually possible for a limited time, time to be determined, but
usually long enough so that our children's children know something else.
Thus, we do not know the horse in the way our grandparents did. Nor they
And we do not know what the small venus maquettes were for, or the cave
paintings, or Stonehenge.
Change happened. Whatever and whoever attempted to maintain the memetic
continuity of the venus maquettes, failed, or got moved aside and
forgotten, or just did not change fast enough, and if they did change
fast enough, then what the venus was, was no more. And, indeed, one of
its mutations might just be Vogue magazine. Or, 900 number sex chats. Or,
Annie Leibowitz photos of Demi Moore. We can't trace the genome of
memetic artifacts like we can the animals who made them to ligate this
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