Re: RS string

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Mon 24 Apr 2006 - 12:02:59 GMT

  • Next message: Kate Distin: "Re: RS string"

    At 12:59 PM 4/23/2006 -0700, you wrote:
    > > At 10:50 PM 4/19/2006 -0700, Dace wrote:
    > >
    > > >There's no flow of information from one person to the next. You're
    > > >analogically when you should be thinking digitally. The information is in
    > > >my mind. I write something that expresses to my satisfaction what I'm
    > > >thinking. You read it. However, you fail to understand my point and
    > > >therefore the information in my mind has not been transmitted to yours.
    > > >It's not as if by writing it down and having you read it, I've managed to
    > > >propell the information two-thirds of the way to your mind. It's all or
    > > >nothing. Either the info is there, or in this case, it isn't.
    > >
    > > If the information is "important" to get it right, then we have error
    > > mechanisms that are very much like those used in electronic
    > >
    > > To drag out baseball (rules) again as an example, the number of strikes
    > > balls might be misunderstood when a kid first is learning the rules. The
    > > people who do know the proper numbers will correct such misunderstandings.
    > > So depending on the block size you want to consider "a meme" then it would
    > > be possible for part of it rather than all of it to be conveyed.
    > >
    > > I.e., if you consider the number of strikes to be a meme, it is either
    >going to be
    > > correct in the receptor mind or not. If you consider "baseball rules" to
    >be the
    > > meme, then only rare people have a completely accurate version of the
    > > information in the rule book.
    >As Katie would point out, only the rules, taken as an abstraction outside
    >the context of any given game, would constitute an RS. If you learn
    >baseball from a rulebook, then the baseball meme has been transferred. But
    >if you learn baseball merely from watching and participating in games, then
    >it's mere imitation. My point is that there's no more information contained
    >in the rulebook than there is in the game itself, that in neither case is
    >there information, which exists strictly within the mind as we *interpret*
    >the relevant material. However, whether we learn baseball from a rulebook
    >or from watching it, the relevant memes are still transferred from mind to
    >mind. So I agree with Katie that no information is contained in the act
    >itself but disagree that this denies a memetic transfer via imitation of the

    I don't see this as logically consistent.

    >Furthermore, and this was my original point, RSs exist only in the
    >mind, not physically, whether in the brain or any other object, including
    >rulebooks. Once one person's RS has been reproduced in another person's
    >mind, the meme has transferred, whether the intermediate material involved
    >is a baseball game or a baseball handbook, a piano sonata or a musical
    >While it's convenient to refer to a game as concrete and a handbook as
    >abstract, in reality both are concrete, material items, and the abstraction
    >exists only in our imagination. Indeed, without this tendency to endow the
    >concrete with abstraction, games like baseball would lose their magic.
    >After all, it's just a ball going over a fence. The home run is not on the
    >field but in our own field of dreams.

    Nice poetry though.

    >For a thing to exist physically is to be presented (ball over fence). For a
    >thing to be represented is to exist mentally (home run).


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