From: Reed Konsler (
Date: Fri 16 May 2003 - 15:27:42 GMT

  • Next message: Reed Konsler: "Re: memetics-digest V1 #1347"

    > 1- An artifact is a special case of performance, wherein the
    > performance is the act of creating the artifact. A book about baseball
    > is an artifact of the performance of explaining baseball. The
    > performances in the example that led baseball to being played was the
    > performance of the making the artifact, the performance of reading the
    > artifact and explaining it to an audience, and the subsequent
    > performances of the teacher and her students.

    Makes sense. If you write a joke down on a piece of paper that is a performance creating an artifact. If I read the joke and tell it to someone else, that is a second performance. What if I read the joke and don't tell anyone? I'm guessing that is just one performance: author to me. Can I tell myself a joke? Can I play a piece on the piano to myself? Does that count as a performance?

    Is there a difference between telling a joke to yourself out loud and thinking it to yourself; Imagining playing a piece on the piano and actually playing it to yourself?

    Let's say I developed an MRI that allowed me to read the musical part of your brain so that I could make audible the notes you were imagining in your head. Does it make a difference if I turn it that no longer a performance?

    Let's say that you are playing a piece of music on the piano and I'm watching it on a TV. If someone pulls the plug on my TV, have you stopped performing? What if no one else can watch or hear you but me, and now I can't?

    If one neuron propogates an electrochemcial signal to another, is the precise release of a delicate melange of neurotransmitters a performance?

    If an enzyme chemically modifies it's substrate with deft precision, elegance, and insghtful economy of energy and motion, is that a performance?

    If one billard ball definetively strikes another is that a performance?

    If a photon of light interferes with another in passing?

    If 100,000 people in a stadium do "the wave", and nobody else sees them, was that a performance? Is there any difference between 100,000 people doing
    "the wave" and 100,000 neurons firing in symphony; 100,000 photons of light interfering with each other?

    > 2- There is no 'baseball meme'. At best, in the performance model,
    > baseball would be a cultural venue. (Call it a memeplex, if you like,
    > but to the performance model, a venue is a place controlled for the
    > expectation of certain performances. A stadium is a venue controlled to
    > expect organized sports.)

    Controlled by whom or what? Whom or what [the venue?] is doing the expecting? What confidence can they have in this expectation, and why?

    > Where was it? It was held within the culture, and the memory of that
    > culture.

    No, I mean, like *where* physically. Does it just, as Scott asked earlier, float around like a Platonic ideal? I presume not, but I still don't understand how the culture relates to the physical. Where are the memes between performances? How is the information in a piano recital recorded or perpetuated when no one is *playing* the piano?



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