Re: Aunger vs. Pinker on Galton

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sat 23 Apr 2005 - 01:17:21 GMT

  • Next message: Kate Distin: "Re: Aunger vs. Pinker on Galton"

    --- Bill Spight <> wrote:

    > Dear Scott,
    > > For Calvin's work Aunger says "my schematic
    > approach
    > > to replication shares little with Calvin's
    > > sophisticated neuroscientfic approach".
    > >
    > I noticed Calvin in Aunger's bibliography, but
    > missed any reference to
    > him in the book. Thanks. :-)
    > > BTW, as you might have read, I've been reading
    > grandpa
    > > Hebb's work on the cell assembly. Doesn't Calvin
    > > fashion himself after Hebb in a way?
    > Hebb's work still stands up. It's classic.
    He talks about reading books too. He was saying that one might read something like a mysstery novel once. But after finishing it how likely are you to want to go and re-read it again?

    More germane to hat I posted in reply to Kate, if you do only read it once and aren't motivated to re-read it and you tell a friend about it, have you replicated its content or have you transformed and/or re-created it? From what I vaguely recall of Bartlett people tend to mess upp the story a tad here and there in the retelling and when the story gts passed down a line of people who haven't read it first hand what will happen? At the end of say 10 people in succession, could we say that the content has been replicated or transformed? Maybe vivid sexual element might attract to our innate erotic modular stuff and get passed on with more fidelity.

    Compare the process of someone reading the latest bodice ripping romamce novel and passing serial retelling from memory down the line through a series of ten people. Compare this process to someone burning a friend's CD and then lending the copy for a friend to burn from. At the end of ten people, what would the quality of the serial digital reproduction be like compared to the serial retelling of the story in the book?
    > > Aunger should
    > > address stuff like this before he dismisses
    > Lashley's
    > > work with the magical wave of a hand and goes on
    > to
    > > talk about the distributed nature of memory.
    > Linguist Sidney Lamb makes a good point, I think,
    > about the lack of a
    > need for a homunculus as far as behavior is
    > concerned. Distributed
    > knowledge is quite sufficient. Things are trickier
    > about the apparent
    > unity of consciousness. But logically a homunculus
    > is problematic. Like
    > the gnats in the poem, how do you prevent an
    > infinite regress? It's
    > turtles all the way down, to shift metaphors. ;-)
    Lashley torpedoes the idea of a homunculus too, but not in the same way Blackmore did. I think he goes back to something William James had said. He even said something about ideas thinking themselves.

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