the slopes of Vesuvius

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Mon 16 Jun 2003 - 03:46:09 GMT

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    On Sunday, June 15, 2003, at 10:12 PM, Richard wrote:

    > It's a collection of memes, artifacts, and people, less like a genome
    > and
    > more like an organism. However, a cultural organism is not subject to
    > the
    > biological constraint that modifications can only come through changes
    > in
    > the seed, so it has some characteristics of a genome and some of an
    > organism. It also doesn't really have defined generations. But it can,
    > I
    > think, fruitfully be studied as a replicator in its own right: its
    > existence, given the right environment, causes more of it to exist in
    > the
    > future.
    > As I agree with almost everything you've ever written on memetics, I
    > view
    > this particular quibble as very minor. But if you keep criticizing me
    > I may
    > threaten to go over to the "performance model." ;)

    You just did, above.... Especially with -

    > its existence, given the right environment, causes more of it to exist
    > in the future.

    - which is as good an explanation of the effects of performance both from and upon the cultural venue as I've ever managed. One has to play baseball for at least 160 games to make it to the Series- it ain't enough to describe the October game, to think about it, or to imagine the weather. In order to ensure the Series, performances have to happen to cause the Series to happen. No culture continues its existence without performances commanded by its parameters within a specified venue (the right environment).

    Don't just threaten, Richard. Live dangerously.

    "For believe me!ó the secret to harvesting the greatest abundance and the greatest enjoyment from existence is thisóliving dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas! Live at war with your peers and yourselves! Be robbers and conquerors, so long as you cannot be rulers and possessors, you knowing ones! The time will soon be past when you could be content to live hidden in the forests like timid deer."
    - Nietzsche

    - Wade

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