Date: Wed 21 May 2003 - 23:11:57 GMT
> on 5/19/03 2:13 PM, email@example.com at firstname.lastname@example.org
> > . . . word strings can be
> > unique. If Jack wrote down on a piece of paper, or simply said
> > (same example, different action encoding mode and recipient
> > perceptual path) "I love you and want to marry you, Jill, and your
> > father, holding what I hope and pray will be our engagement ring, is
> > waiting to board the bus at the next stop. When he gets on, will
> > you grant me the supreme honor of agreeing to be my wife?", the
> > chances that that particular message (sign string) had ever been
> > presented to her before, or that she had made that association on
> > her own, is practically nil. As it is with many sentences that
> > occur in common text or discourse. Definitely, information has been
> > transmitted and received.
> All you've done is taken an example of a fairly ordinary conversation
> and said "that's information transmission." You don't really know how
> it happens, but you want to talk about it as transmission and, I
> assume, replication, and mutation and all that good stuff that's
> fairly well-understood in biology. Well, you can do that, but the
> fact that the biologists understand what they're talking about doesn't
> change the fact that linguists and philosophers and psychologists
> don't understand Jack's proposal & Jill's response in any satisfying
> detail. I can't explain what's going on there, Noam Chomsky can't,
> Steven Pinker can't, Terrance Deacon can't, nor can anyone else that I
> know of.
> Applying a biological analogy to human culture and communication does
> not magically transfer biology's explanatory efficacy to psychology.
> It gives the illusion of understanding but not the power. It's a con.
We DO know that information that Jack had that Jill did not have was transferred from jack to Jill. We know the semiotics and the genetic epistemology of the sigh-referent associations, and we know the power of language to allow these referents to be intentionally arranged in novel and meaningful strings which are coded in a commonly understood language. If that is not information transmission, then it does not exist, and you are simply indulging in a solipsistic dream when you type your objections to your alter ego. The 'how' is basically known, requiring only fine-tuning, as is the 'where' (the temporal lobes and association cortex and the mouth-ear nexus (hijacked by a second- order mutation, according to Philip Lieberman, from the hand-eye coordination system), including Broca's and Wernicke's areas and their connection via the arcuate fasciculus; the 'what' is rationally indisputable.
> So, explain to me, step-by-step, how the transmission takes place,
> from Jack's brain to Jill's. At each step demonstrate that the
> process of transmission is like that involved when, for example, we
> scan a photograph into a computer file, or when we transmit that file
> from one computer to another and then reproduce the image in a
> recognizable, if not exact, form. You might, for example, decide the
> process has these steps:
> 1. Idea in Jack's head > words in Jack's head.
> 2. Words in Jack's head > words written on paper.
> 3. Paper in Jack's hand > paper in Jill's hand.
> 4. Words written on paper > to words in Jill's head.
> 5. Words in Jill's head > idea in Jill's head.
> I'll concede step three. You can propose a different set of steps if
> you wish, though you'll have to give reasons for it. But you cannot
> propose a different sense of transmission. The sense of transmission
> that I specified is one that we understand in a very rich way. And
> that's what I'm after, understanding.
> You might want to begin by providing an account of the photographic
> example. Then you could augment and modify it to cover the human
> example, thus:
> 1. photograph > computer file.
> 2. file in computer A > file in computer B.
> 3. computer file > printed image.
> FWIW, I plan to make one more major post in my current interruption of
> normal activities on this list -- a reply to Keith's post about the
> before and after images of a brain that's learned a phone number.
> After that I'm pretty much out of here for awhile. I may make a few
> minor posts here and there, though a really splendid post might make
> me change my mind.
> William L. Benzon
> 708 Jersey Avenue, Apt. 2A
> Jersey City, NJ 07302
> 201 217-1010
> "You won't get a wild heroic ride to heaven on pretty little
> sounds."--George Ives
> Mind-Culture Coevolution: http://asweknowit.ca/evcult/
> 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)
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