Re: Mutant swarms and copying fidelity

From: Bill Spight (
Date: Thu 05 May 2005 - 20:06:56 GMT

  • Next message: Kate Distin: "Re: Mutant swarms and copying fidelity"

    Dear Kate,

    >> There is a difference between the ability and the skill. The skill
    >> requires both the ability and the how-to knowledge.
    > I'm not absolutely certain how you're using the words "ability" and
    > "skill" here. Do you mean that in order to perform the task
    > competently (have the skill) you'd need both the physical ability to
    > perform it and the knowledge of how to go about it?

    Yes. :-)

    > If so, I agree. Where I was going with my suggestion (which is only
    > that - a thought I had while composing the message) was that, while
    > the how-to knowledge is a transmissible bit of information, the
    > physical ability is not transmissible.

    We largely agree there, too. But the physical ability is trainable and the training is social.

    > I'm wondering whether, when we learn a complex skill like
    > violin-playing or walling, there is both a social and an individual
    > learning element to it. So there is information that can be shared
    > about it (the how-to knowledge) and an ability that can only develop
    > through individual practice. This is why, no matter how many books
    > they may read, seminars they may attend or videos they may watch,
    > some people will never be as skilled as others. Their individual
    > learning potential (both innate ability and tendency to stick at it)
    > is more limited so the results are less impressive.
    > So maybe there are phenomena that we think of as being a part of
    > culture (like dancing and playing music), which are actually not
    > memes but individual responses to memes.

    Is it either/or?



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