From: Grant Callaghan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu 06 Mar 2003 - 15:58:38 GMT
Do you see how, even among people that supposedly share a
instance, we could concievably find ourselves talking about the
subject at a
departmental cocktail party) the meaning of the Illiad is
depending on what other memes are in our *individual* heads?
Perceptiion and cognition are dependent upon the memes we already hold in
our minds. Extracting meaning from the words that come to us depends on our
skill and ability to interpret them. This is different in everyone. Past
experience plays a large role in how we interpret what we see and hear. If
you say, "The house on the hill is white." the house I see in my mind is not
the same house you saw in your mind when you said it. The picture in my
mind is based on houses I have seen in places where I have lived and the
same applies to the house you see in your mind. The only thing that
survives the transmission and reception is the basic concept of house.
Everything else is colored by our experience.
So you can't read the Illiad from the same viewpoint that Greeks and Romans
read it 2000 years ago. But you can get as much from it as any other human
who reads it today, based on your relative accumulation of knowledge on the
subject. It won't turn you into a person of Greek culture but it will help
you understand that culture. Understanding of any story or poem in any
language is both relative and colored by the culture in which you grew up.
What you get from it will depend on what you've already accumulated in your
mind in the years since you were born.
STOP MORE SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE*
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu 06 Mar 2003 - 15:55:41 GMT