Date: Sat 24 May 2003 - 03:16:07 GMT
> 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
> > 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
And the 'them' are memes and the 'somewhere' is internally, that is, cognitively.
> - Wade
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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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