Re: Durkheim redux

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Fri 15 Apr 2005 - 16:10:03 GMT

  • Next message: Bill Spight: "Re: Durkheim redux"

    Dear Derek,

    > "the famous Parisian hoax of 1910, in which the art critic Roland
    > Dorgeles and the proprietor of the Montmartre cabaret Le Lapin Agile,
    > Frederic Gerard, painted a seascape by tying a brush to a donkey's
    > tail and then exhibited the painting at the Salon des Independants of
    > 1910 under the name of Joachim Boronali "

    Verrry interesting. Many thanks. :-)

    > but there's no mention of them winning. I wonder about these kind of
    > stories because there are many of the form "modern art is rubbish
    > because it was done by a x, and the critics couldn't tell", where x
    > can be an animal, child, weather etc. I once met somebody who
    > claimed to have successfully executed such a hoax - but the issue is
    > always clouded by the fact that those who make such claims always
    > have an anti-modern art agenda.


    By the time you get to aleatory art, though, what's to hoax? ;-) Surprise, it's not really random? <hehe>

    I think that there is something of interest here in terms of memetic variation. I expect that two variations, donkey -> mule, and tying a brush to the tail -> dipping the tail in paint, are the result of my faulty memory and are random. The addition of winning a prize, however, I am less willing to claim. Also, it does not seem random. It makes a better story.

    Making a better story suggests an increase in memetic fitness. Also, it seems not to be uncommon. How many times are tales and accounts enhanced in the retelling to make a better story? (Whether consciously or unconsciously.) How does that happen? What does it imply for memetics?

    Best regards,


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