Re: Individual - Collective / digest V1#1480

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 25 Feb 2004 - 17:15:57 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Between groups."

    >From: M Lissack <>
    >Subject: Re: Individual - Collective / digest V1#1480
    >Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 05:24:41 -0800 (PST)
    >To Kenneth, Steven, and Scott
    >When all one has is a hammer, very many things "seem"
    >to be nails. And the strange thing is that a high
    >percentage of those "nails" will behave just like
    >"real nails" (be pushed further into a substrate) when
    >"treated" with the hammer. That much of the remainder
    >get "crushed" is merely an outgrowth of only having a
    >Of course eventually someone comes along who points
    >out that the back edge of the hammer can be used to
    >pry things out and to carry ssome objects around.
    >Then others will propose that with care the back edge
    >can be used to "open things" and still others that
    >combinations of all these steps when carefully
    >executed can be used in certain environments to
    >"gather, harvest, sort, and reconstruct."
    >The original simple idea that "all things are nails"
    >which underlay the concept of "use the tool you've
    >got" has now been replaced but the "use the tool
    >you've got" overlay remains. The idea of "how" to use
    >that tool has been transformed from a simple code --
    >swing the hammer and hit -- to a more complex
    >locational process which involves examining the
    >environment and then determining which of several
    >potential uses.
    >To the "purists" none of this matters. I have a
    >hammer and I use it.
    >Memes as ideas which "carry" their own reproductive
    >force and which are subject to Darwinian "selection
    >pressures" are in some stage of the evolution of the
    >hammer above.
    >And the bulk of the posters to this list (and we have
    >NO IDEA what the lurkers think) are purists.
    There are times when one runs the risk of completely missing the nail and striking their finger with the hammer.

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