Re: Me against the meme

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 04 Nov 2005 - 03:20:41 GMT

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    --- Kenneth Van Oost <> wrote:

    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: Scott Chase <>
    > > This is a byproduct of a genetic, structural,
    > > or behavioral incompatibility arising over time
    > when
    > > two groups are geographically isolated, not a
    > species
    > > saying: "You know I'm going to go out into this
    > world
    > > and stake a claim for me and my kind" like the
    > > legendary architects of some struggling nation.
    > <<Hm, can 't really agree Scott ! What the other
    > species than the
    > human kind are concerned, I agree, but individuals
    > and communities
    > set in for a higher unity of socialisation and
    > further cultural develop-
    > ment.
    > In the heart of every individual beats freedom and
    > the magic of
    > self- bildung can set him totally free. He may be
    > attached to certain
    > social/ cultural doctrines in order to survive_ and
    > to retrieve his
    > freedom from_ but he will go out into this world and
    > stake the claim.
    > In the process he may need help from a personal god
    > or of the promise
    > of immortality, he may need symbols to go by and
    > over, he will need
    > ( self)-knowledge, morality, introspectives,friends
    > and a family to convey
    > his thoughts. But it will hold no monopoly of truth.
    > His truth is the one he holds within and that's
    > himself.
    > I claim that, as being an individual I can go out
    > into this world and take a
    > convenient part of the truth. I will determinate
    > myself, thank you !
    > As for communities, we don 't have to be vague or
    > obscure about it, the
    > US is going out into this world and takes the place
    > it needs for its people.
    > No part of its nature will be denied and this
    > tendency arises from the
    > acceptance of its own claim. Moreover, this thought
    > can 't be divorced
    > from its history ( and destiny), it continuous with
    > it, influencing it and
    > is
    > influenced by it.
    > The American thought about freedom/ democracy/
    > morality will re-
    > order the social/ cultural and political aganda of
    > the world. Their
    > ideas about self- determination can lead to a
    > general or permanent
    > conflict, can lead to fanaticism or moral
    > intolerance or anger, but
    > the will for being self- determinant will result in
    > a kind of self- accep-
    > tance.
    > There is a deep productive tension as in an
    > individual as in any society
    > to be self- determinant, expressing itself
    > intensively and to outgrow him-
    > self. That this has become a frustrated dualism I
    > have no doubt, but many
    > will continue to develop themselves of itself as a
    > person/ nation.
    I can't see where you disagree with me then. You are applying the concept of self-determination where it's appropriate (ie- the affairs of human individuals and groups). I might not have made myself clear enough, but my objection to Ted was with his application of self-determination where it's not appropriate, to non-human organisms and to species. He was saying a theory of life is incomplete with self-determination and that a species (as aggregrate group) self-determines. I was thinking solely in terms of organisms without the capacity for forming concepts of self and free-will. A human can think that they are free to make their own choices and a national grouping might aspire to a cogerent goal of self-determination. These notions do not apply to bacteria or plants or to the process of speciation. I doubt a species has a concept of itself as a group excepting humans who are aware of such biological concepts. Individuals such as John Wilkins are fully aware of such concepts but can we extrapolate their superior wisdom across all individuals of our species to say that the human species is fully self-aware? I can buy nationalist self-determination as a human construct, but species self-determination for humans might be going too far.

    Meme machinists would likely deconstruct the self as memeplex and things like volition and even national self-determination might then go out the window. I'm not too fond of the hardcore meme machinist stance.

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