Re: Fwd: Familiar images make false impressions

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Thu Jun 21 2001 - 16:22:17 BST

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: World Language Losses at a Glance"

    Received: by id QAA08561 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Thu, 21 Jun 2001 16:26:14 +0100
    Subject: Re: Fwd: Familiar images make false impressions
    Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 11:22:17 -0400
    x-mailer: Claris Emailer 2.0v3, Claritas Est Veritas
    From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
    To: "memetics list" <>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
    Message-ID: <[]>
    Precedence: bulk

    On 06/21/01 10:31, Philip Jonkers said this-

    >Both are simple to remember and easy to replicate reliably


    They also fit well with other diagrams and descriptions we've seen in
    many other places - the growth of a plant, the metamorphosis of insects,
    the orbits of the planets (themselves made simpler by making them

    It is not, quite, possible to make the layered clouds of possible
    locations of an electron, the quantum reality, simple in the same way as
    the orbital circles, but, it is not an impossible image to spread, (now
    that the technology of image-making has become household), and in fact,
    it is rather attractive.

    It should also be not impossible to spread (via museum exhibit and
    textbook upgrades) a more accurate representation of early hominids, and
    I think this is already progressing. The local museum of science has just
    put in a new, loping and tail-waving T. Rex model, replacing the old,
    upright one which greeted every visitor.

    One of the weaknesses of the conference (or perhaps one of the weaknesses
    of the little that I attended and thus witnessed) was the acceptance of
    the famous images, without a concerted effort to make, through new
    images, an attempt at more simple and easily grasped explanations of
    complex discoveries and mechanisms.

    At its core, evolution has extremely understandable structures and
    mechanisms - it's a series of surviving algorithms, after all. Fractals
    are likewise extremely understandable and brilliantly evocative as
    images, and have cornered a small market of public interest.

    But it is true that images lead us to other knowledges and interests with
    strong force, and we are visually based for knowledge acquisition.
    Regardless of what we hear, we need to look to know what's making the

    Sontag, for all her brilliance (and I do think she is brilliant), happy
    that 'words' lie at the end of the knowledge rainbow, is perhaps too
    close to them to realize that these are seen things, these words, and the
    pot of gold must be apprehended and touched.

    - Wade

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jun 21 2001 - 16:34:36 BST