Re: birthdays

Date: Sun 15 Jun 2003 - 19:11:09 GMT

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    Date sent: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 11:47:59 -0400 Subject: Re: birthdays From: "Wade T. Smith" <> To: Send reply to:

    > On Sunday, June 15, 2003, at 12:11 AM, Joe wrote:
    > > But if you mean that cultural venue encompasses the between but not
    > > the within
    > The cultural venue is a term I started to use more in place of the
    > also and previously used 'cultural ecology', but, of course, I did not
    > want to use that phrase, as it smacked of newagism, and 'venue' was
    > more apt to the performance aspect of the model I was intrigued with.
    > So much for my etymology.
    > The cultural venue _is_ the 'outside' (the between and the around)- it
    > is the realm within which performance happens, and the performers are,
    > on this planet, humans, who have brains. (If a self-conscious creature
    > could be so without a brain, then, so be it- culture _could_ happen
    > without two _brains_, but not without two self-conscious creatures. We
    > just don't know about any other way to accomplish self-consciousness.)
    > And the observers are self-conscious humans. But the technologies of
    > communication and observation are part of the venue. (There are no
    > televisions or prosceniums or orchestra seats inside a brain.) The
    > specific language used is part of the venue. (Each specific language
    > is from the society outside the brain.) Every tool or media utilized
    > is part of the venue. (There are no artifacts or newspapers inside
    > brains.)
    > > Of course I can't
    > > So my counter-challenge is to explain how one can remember one's own
    > > birthday in the absence of a brain.
    > This is not a true counter-challenge to my challenge of discovering
    > one's birthday solely from nature, since a brain is part of nature,
    > but, I'll continue nonetheless, as your challenge provides incentive,
    > albeit off-vector, and you've completely acknowledged that meeting my
    > challenge is impossible. I try not to bet on unsure things....
    > The cultural venue 'remembers' birthdays quite well without brains,
    > because it uses artifacts- after all, it created both the need for
    > birthdays and the particulars of their specifics. I have my birth
    > certificate in my possession. I could be a robot and bring it out to
    > show you. _My_ brain was not necessary to supply either this record,
    > or the conditions of its manufacture, or its distribution to your
    > perception. (I know people who have birth certificates for pedigreed
    > animals, who do not remember such things, and also could be trained to
    > fetch and display them....) As you say, other brains, _all_ of them
    > acting within the specific cultural venue within which I was born,
    > were required. But the venue itself was, and always is, a requirement
    > of cultural information and distribution, and in the case of
    > birthdays, there _is no other way to arrive at one_. Nature, and any
    > science of it, are not sufficient, to supply a date of birth. One
    > cannot discover one's name in likewise extra-culturally dependent
    > fashion. (I suppose this is the time for a fascinating sidestep upon
    > some cultures', notably some amerindian and aboriginal, inclusion of a
    > magickal or spiritual name which one can discover in shamanistic
    > passages through an external/internal supernature, but, not now....)
    > Nature is that which is not dependent upon culture, from a
    > socio-centric viewpoint. (We may be changing that, here upon this
    > planet, for better or worse, in an ironic technologically magickal
    > retrogression, but time will tell.)
    > Every artifact is a venue-specific demonstration of a performance, and
    > a cultural venue needs to be maintained to supply the meaning to this
    > artifact. (There is, and I have, empirical proof of this assertion- it
    > is more than axiomatic to cultural evolution.)
    > But remembering is not the same, even the selfsame, as creating. And,
    > yes, in order to create, we do need a brain. In order to remember a
    > cultural specific, we need a brain, and a venue, and an observer.
    > Without all, as you say, the external and the internal, culture is not
    > possible.
    > The performance model truly _accepts_ this triad of condition, and
    > calls the necessary and sufficient agent of this cultural continuation
    > and evolution the 'meme'. (Which, AFAIK, was the original proposed use
    > of this word- the unit of cultural evolution.) As a performer, a
    > venue, and an observer are all necessary and sufficient to continue or
    > to mutate a cultural specific, and the blanket condition wherein all
    > these agents are active _is_ a performance, I adopted the performance
    > model of cultural evolution for its sheer parsimony. For me, nothing
    > else is sufficient to explain cultural evolution, and putting the meme
    > in the brain only does one third of the job. Last I knew, one third is
    > a good two-thirds short.
    > For one to remember one's birthday, all three agents need to be
    > active. As I've shown and you've agreed. Remove one of them, and there
    > _is_ no birthday, regardless of the fact there most certainly was a
    > birth. But even that has no need itself to be remembered.
    Memes are both within and between in different encoding formats. And it not only requres human brains, with their self-conscious awarenesses and their learned code-knowledge, to create/encode the meaning- bearing cultural artifacts of which you speak, but also to understand/decode them (actually to translate between codes, in either case, but in opposite directions - in the first case FROM neral encodings, in the second case TO them).
    > - Wade
    > ===============================================================
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