Re: never wanting to grow up

From: rhiggins7 (
Date: Sun 08 Jun 2003 - 08:18:55 GMT

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    > Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 19:28:46 -0400
    > From: Keith Henson <>
    > Subject: Re: never wanting to grow up
    > "Culturgen" is a term predating "meme" which means the same thing. A
    > culturgen is an element of culture that is passed on, like patterns of
    > decoration on pottery or the means of making pots, chipping rocks to make
    > tools or ways to make shoes. These culturgens or memes are no real
    > to explain because they are useful to learn, but they do require being
    > passed down as elements of culture. That makes them memes.
    > "Bleeding" as a medical practice was harmful in virtually all cases, but
    > too was a meme that was passed down from generation to generation. As a
    > meme it did not induce behavior to teach others to bleed people.
    I disagree with this last statement. For one thing, Bleeding was a technology which was part of greater set of technologies as you called it "Medical practice"(or least it evolved into our current concept of medicine). I feel I'm pretty safe to say that a substantial portion of Medicine during that era did harm in some fashion of another and most of the rest did extremely little if any thing. But despite its harmfulness, the evidence would seem to show very strongly that Bleeding not only did "induce behavior to teach others to bleed people" it actually induce behavior to teach others to let others be bled. Bleeding lasted several hundreds of years (I'm not sure exactly how far it goes back but I suspect thousands of years) and continued at least up to the American Revolution (I heard somewhere that some General died due to bleeding) so it had the longevity. The way it induces behavior to teach others to bleed people was primarily through early medical training in schools and through apprenticeship. And it "induce behavior to teach others to let others be bled" either through acceptance of authority (trust in doctors) or as part of some other mechanism like a placebo effect. A couple of notes, as far as I know bleeding was more a last resort type healing and then mostly for the well to do, which would probably mean that those that died were seen as dying any way so any that lived proved that it worked. More importantly, despite what we want to believe there was no real way of knowing that it didn't work: no general understanding of anatomy and biology so they couldn't see that it was inherently unhealthy; there was not scientific method so they could not disprove; and, it fit the best (common) medical model of the day so it shouldn't be questioned. Memes like all knowledge is very context sensitive.

    Ray Higgins If "Believing is See" then could it be That
                 "Believing is being"

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