Re: memetics-digest V1 #1309

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Mon 10 Mar 2003 - 00:55:36 GMT

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    >Subject: Re: memetics-digest V1 #1309
    >Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2003 17:33:30 -0600
    > >
    > > On Sunday, March 9, 2003, at 03:17 PM, memetics-digest wrote:
    > >
    > > > A chair is
    > > > made to sit upon; a book is written to be read.
    > >
    > > I put a book on a chair to reach a lightbulb that needs changing.
    > >
    >We can use things for other than their original purpose, but this fact
    >also acknowledges their original purpose.
    This discussion is converging upon Gould's notion of exaptations. Things intended for a specific purpose may have some unintended consequences which make them candidates for co-option for a different purpose. A large book
    *might* be useful as a boost to get you closer to a lightbulb to change it, but I'd hesitate to use one out of concerns for safety. An appropraitely sized step ladder would be a better choice. But since a book, especiall Gould's recent _The Structure of Evolutionary Theory_ may be large enough to add several inches above a chair's height (I don't think a chair is a good substitute for a step ladder either BTW) I can see the point, but do NOT try this at home.

    Nonetheless, Joe, how does the additional height gained by the books use in conjunction with the chair in place of a ladder acknowledge the book's original purpose, as a storage device for written language addressing a particular subject matter? I'd think the mere dimensions of the book as used in boosting one's reach atop a chair would have little relationship to it's original purposed, aside from the amount of words the author put into the book would influence the number of pags an given type size and the thickness of each page, this would infuence the dimensions of the book and thus the degree of height increase afforded.

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