Re: back to basics

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Thu 29 May 2003 - 01:28:52 GMT

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    On Wednesday, May 28, 2003, at 06:28 PM, Scott wrote:

    > I wonder whether advertizers (or marketing majors) and
    > politicians (or political science majors) could learn much more from
    > memetics or so-called "memetic engineering" than trivial gee-whiz
    > redefinition of what they've been doing for years or if memeticists
    > could
    > learn from these fields how the real world actually works, beyond
    > sterile
    > theorizing based on dubious biological analogy.

    Spot on.

    That piece I forwarded about how Bush's press appearances are worked like a movie set are, of course, prime examples of what, as you say, passes for 'memetic engineering' among the jargon-obsessed, and 'just doing our job' among the myriad of set designers, directors, actors, cinematographers, playwrights, musicians, composers, editors, etc, who manage to direct an audience's perceptions every day in every way.

    It is precisely this- that dramatic construction has always been a means to a desired emotional and intellectual end, that enamored me of aesthetic and poetic theory. That Aristotle so brilliantly discussed dramatic intent and construction is still yielding insight today. When I say I'm an aristotelian, what I mean is, as regards poetic and dramatic theory. Thought, character, and action. Performance, in a word.

    Which is all why I thought aesthetics and memetics were related, and why I was attracted to memetics, because I was coming from the workingman's aesthetic side of things- I was a video cameraman and editor, with a long schooling of dramatic study and playwrighting and theatre arts. (I still do- Joe may be a philosopher, but it is the philosophy of dramatic form that is more important in culture than the philosophy of information, IMHO.)

    And having a better story to tell has always meant more to culture.

    - Wade

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