Re: what is a meme?

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu 05 Feb 2004 - 01:31:16 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: the meme/brain problem"

    At 10:37 AM 04/02/04 +0000, you wrote:
    >Keith Henson writes:
    >>>role of the biological. From my perspective of anthropology classing
    >>>anthropology under the biological umbrella would mean biologists have to
    >>>account for their individual selves in their work
    >>Indeed. But let me warn you all about this. *Admitting* you are a
    >>social primate with standard social primate drives--even if you are not
    >>consciously aware of them--will get in big trouble. In my case, a
    >>federal judge lambasted me in writing for admitting to having the very
    >>same kinds of status seeking drives that *he* had clearly displayed when
    >>he gave up a lot of income to become a (higher status) federal judge.
    >This is a difficult question for sure. Not sure that "will" get you into
    >big trouble might be better expressed as "will likely" or something similar.

    I have been attacked in chat and on line for admitting that I am a social primate of the human variety and a prime motivation for such primates is to gain social status. Thus, even if I am not consciously aware of this motivation, much of what I do is motivated by seeking higher status--from the simple facts above.

    >The unspoken conventions of formal legal discourse (and perhaps
    >"professionalism" of any kind) require (often, 'as a rule' always?) hiding
    >behind a mask of professionalism to conceal the personal which, rightly
    >so - is considered irrelevant. In formal legal terms, however, when
    >questions of bias (in its legal senses) arise, this mask is lowered. As
    >it is at discipline hearings, where a solicitor's personal interests have
    >comprised his duty to a client.

    Classic example is where the lawyer is sleeping with his client's wife.

    >The judge may have justly criticised you, but it would hard to come to an
    >good opinion without more facts, e.g. whether it was expressed in oral
    >argument, in an article....

    Virtually all of it is on Google, both my dawning understanding of evolutionary psychology and applying it to my own situation. This is one place where honesty is *not* the best policy, or at least not good politics.

    >In my own field, legal anthropology, (precisely, the anthropology of legal
    >doctrine), the approaches I pursue probably prevent me from practising
    >law. I suspect that if practitioners were to see and attempt to answer
    >the kinds of questions that interest me, it would detract from their
    >professional skills.

    Good point. It is not perhaps in your best interest or that of your client to have *too* much insight.

    >In a client-solicitor relationship any 'confession' would have to promote
    >the client's interest to be valid. Otherwise, accounting for oneself
    >induces a kind of self-consciousness that may take a practitioner outside
    >of the "zone" in which they function best.

    Very possibly.

    Keith Henson

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