Re: Venue

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Sat 24 May 2003 - 02:16:06 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Re: selfsameness"

    On Friday, May 23, 2003, at 08:50 PM, Reed wrote:

    > At best you could say it favors certain kinds of
    > expression as geographical conformations favor certain paths for a
    > river.

    I think that is more than best, I think that is enough.

    > "No, indeed, it does not. But the people who put it there did. And the
    > fact
    > it is there will make you use it, if it works properly."
    > Using your examples of Tinglit artifacts and Cargo Cults would refute
    > that
    > statement.

    No, I do not refute myself. The Tlingit artifact did not work properly, and the cargo cults could not operate their totems properly. The venue for proper operation is not present in either case, and in the absence of the venue, cultural evolution is not possible.

    > But there is no such thing as a 'fact' that a
    > physical object must serve a specific purpose.

    I totally agree. The only fact about a physical object is its physicality. But the only meaning attached to it is from culture, which gives it a purpose, and much of culture is the explanation of these purposes, so that there will be followers.

    > "I suspect you'll still have a door, though."

    What I meant was- I suspect there will still be a door (a means of ingress and egress) in your house that you will use and call a 'door' even though a very similar slab of wood is now a table in your living room.

    > Without your mind it is just a slab of wood.

    Without the cultural venue of the house and the carpentry (after all, Intuits do not use doors), it is just a slab of wood. No-one can keep a door in their mind and let another know there is a means of ingress and egress to a house using it. The thing that makes it a door is not simply the fact that someone thinks such a thing as a door exists, but that the venue of the house has been conformed to the culture that calls this egress a door. Putting a slab of wood on hinges and attaching it to a wall and calling this means of ingress and egress a
    'door' is a cultural command. That someone follows this command is selection. That someone observes and uses the door is replication. That someone puts a knob on it is a mutation of the venue which will also be observed and perchance selected and, perchance, replicated.

    > I've been pointing out that the only meaningful
    > parts of the venue...the parts that have agency or can be thought of as
    > participating in cultural evolution...are in the brain.

    As all these thoughts of the door are, as you say, pre-cursors of the performance and the selection and the mutation, (not to mention the carpentry), which are all necessary and sufficient for evolution, saying that just this _thought_ is all that is required for this evolution is, well, not even wrong. The brain still has to put them somewhere.

    - 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:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat 24 May 2003 - 02:21:43 GMT