Re: Baseball has been very, very good to me

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 16 May 2003 - 04:18:39 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "RE: transmission"

    >From: "Reed Konsler" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: Baseball has been very, very good to me
    >Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 16:01:58 -0400
    > > There is...another information ...the performance
    > > of the teacher, recounting, as best she tries, the performance of the
    > > artifact of the book.
    >I don't understand what you mean by "the performance of the artifact of the
    >book". Is the book, itself, performing?
    If a book is where rules are written down, such as rules for baseball, a person trying to teach these rules will try their best to use the book (aka artifact) as a basis to teach the rules to others.
    >What performance connects the
    >larger culture of baseball to the micro-culture on the island.
    >Maybe this would be a better gedanken to help me understand you:
    >Let's say that on an island called "First Base" they perform a game called
    >baseball. On another island called "Third Base" they don't play the game.
    >All the islands share the same language. An expedition from First Base
    >lands on an island called "Second Base" and, after a little exploring,
    >returns to First leaving behind a bunch of junk they don't need. Among
    >junk is the rules of baseball.
    You are not explicit as to the manner in which these rules are left. Are they hanging in the air as a Platonic eidos aaitiing a moment that they can be copied imperfectly into this imperfect world? Are they saved by the
    "Second Basers" via word of mouth and performance after learning it from the First Basers? Are they saved in a book of baseball rules that wa left by the First Baser expedition? The last two possibilities are realistic and are based either on performance or artifact (a baseball rulebook).
    >Lots of time passes. During this intervening period, people on First grow
    >tired of baseball. They stop playing, forget about it, and all records of
    >the game on First are lost.
    >A little while later, an expedition from Third lands on Second and uncovers
    >evidence of the previous explorers. This includes the rules to baseball.
    You are still not explicit as how these rule were left. This happens to be a crucial piece of information for you to have left it out.
    >They return to Third and the game becomes identified with these mysterious
    >First Basers that no-one has ever seen nor heard from. It becomes a fad
    >eventually everyone on Third is playing baseball all the time.
    Well there was no obvious neurally stored engram that was directly responsible for this fad as presented by you. The Third Basers could have learned the game via an artifact or if the Second Basers had picked up on the game, which you haven't so much as alluded to from what I can tell, it would be more directly from obsevation of performances of the game being played from which the Thrird Basers wouldhave picked up on it from the Second Basers (who picked up on it from the First Basers via performance). Performance and verbal elaboration would be the direct route. Of course, in this case, memory would be involved, and I doubt Wade disputes this, but we've no clue how this was stored specifically in each of the brains of the performers and no clue as to the degree of isomorphy the *idea* of baseball has when comparing across perfomers. I think you sealed Wade's case up fairly tightly for him and I'm sure he's much obliged.

    I would hesitate to called what has taken place at the more efficacious level of performance (or the rule book if this were the case) memetic. The mnemic undercurrent via which the players remembered in the performance case is not the proper level to be addressing the situation. There's no neuraly encoded basis in the case of the book that's directly responsible, no more than the memory that the author used in writing out the rules. It was the words in the book that the reader reads, not the author's brain patterns.
    >The questions I have are:
    >1) What performance or performances allowed the game of baseball to
    In the case of the rule book, where's the internal meme? It would be performance guided by reading. In the case of the Second Basers having learned the rules and passed them to the Third Basers, it would be trial and error on both their parts guided by the teacher's performances that would be the most direct means of learning. The teacher would have based their performance on things such as memory for rules and muscle memory or coordination showing how to play the horribly boring game of baseball to the students, but how are you going to beak this complexity into recognizable, efficacious units and demonstrate their existence in a manner that would convince the critically minded? You'll have no problem singing to the choir of convinced memeticists and especially the internalist faction.
    >2) Where was the baseball meme when no one was playing baseball?
    Maybe you're the one who needs to answer this as you failed to be explicit on how the rules of baseball were hanging in the air between First Base and Third Base. I've tried to construct the situation as best I could, given your vagueness.

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