Date: Thu 15 May 2003 - 20:43:10 GMT
> On Thursday, May 15, 2003, at 03:31 PM, Joe wrote:
> > Deciding to drink one's thousandth beer is very different from a
> > spider following a hard-wired instinctual program to weave its
> > thousandth web
> Never said it wasn't.
But you freely sprinkle the web-weaving analogy, as if it were equivalent to a game of chess, the writing of a computer program or the designing of a nuclear reactor.
> > one falls into the trap of implicitly denying conscious self-
> > awareness and choice at the very moment one is exercising them.
> I'm still at a complete loss to understand why you think that is
> something I am falling into.
> The human, at all times and in all activities (well, most of them,
> certainly, and certainly memetic ones) is consciously self-aware and
> making choices.
> Again, I am not declaring that any agency of choice is inadmissable-
> just the contrary, it is choice and self-awareness that makes people
> part of the cultural process.
> But, regardless of how automatic any one person's behavior is- and
> that is all I'm trying to say with the web analogy, that many
> activities are automatic and yet different every time- such behavior
> is still, regardless of instinctual forces to make them all the same,
> differentiated by the actual performance of the process because the
> parameters of the venue are different, be it web-making or
> speech-making, or singing 'London Bridge is Falling Down'.
> The performance model does not, however, attempt to explain human
> beings, which, I guess, you are thinking it tries to do or I'm trying
> to do with it. It doesn't. It only attempts to explain, in a darwinian
> fashion, the mechanisms and agents of cultural evolution. And it
> doesn't want to explain the mind, and it doesn't have to. People do
> what people do, and the evolution of culture is a processional result
> of what they do, in the groups that they do it, in the spaces they do
> it in. What they think before they do things is, well, irrelevant.
The precise behaviorist position, overthrown by the cognitive revolution forty years ago. The brain/mind cannot be merely considered a black box and ignored or dismissed, because it is much more than a simple conduit between stimulus and response. In point of fact, people mostly do what they do because they think what they think, and they think these things because they have learned them immediately (through direct experience), by a combination of immediate and mediate (the formation of sign-referent associations), or mediately, through hearing or reading meaningful and intentional discourse or text (for which the previous learning step is required). Genetics macro-wires the brain; experience micro-wires it. It does not begin as a total tabula rasa
(evolutionary psychology's point), but most of what fills the adult mind does indeed require environmental and social interaction, and the latter is predominately memetic.
> - Wade
> 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)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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 15 May 2003 - 20:48:47 GMT