Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id FAA11339 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Sat, 10 Nov 2001 05:19:09 GMT Message-ID: <012f01c169a6$4238f080$5e88b2d1@teddace> From: "Dace" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> References: <20011109213321.AAA13471@firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Debunking pseudoscience: Why horoscopes really work... Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2001 21:12:11 -0800 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4133.2400 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.50.4133.2400 Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> The knowledge provided by systems such as astrology cannot be considered
> genuine as its premises simply are false. Within the context of memetics,
> what they actually have experienced is a feeding of their self-plexes.
I take it you're refering to the memeplex we call "self." In other words,
the ego. Not the actual self, which consists of reflexive consciousness,
but the image of itself it conjures up. Mental self-awareness is a product
of evolution. It has a natural history spanning millions of years. Only in
the context of genuine self-existence could a fictional "self" be
fabricated. Someone must hallucinate the hallucination.
> What most people also do not seem
> to realize, is that a big disadvantage of such misinforming systems is
> that the recipients become reduced in their personal freedom as they
> commit themselves to live their life in conformance with their star-sign,
> tarot-cards and the like. They trade in their genereral talents  to
> specialize in chasing dreams, or ghosts depending upon what perspective
> you assume. In a dramatic sense their, also much cherished but illusory,
> free-will (which, in a strict sense, is a fallacy anyway) is shattered
> to smitherines (even more).
Do you imagine that scientists have disproven free-will? No more so than
tarot readers and astrologers, who also take it on faith that all is
determined, every fate tucked away in its 4-D slot. In the case of science
or superstition, the pursuit of security promotes a belief that the world is
pre-planned, that the future, in a sense, already exists. There's an
obsession with seeing what will happen next. It's all about prediction.
What's desired isn't knowledge exactly but foreknowledge. Determinism, be
it astrological, Calvinist, or Newtonian, feeds on our fear of uncertainty.
It persists despite the fact that the whole issue was swept away nearly 80
years ago when deterministic mechanics gave way to the probabilism of
quantum mechanics. It lives on only memetically, not logically. While
memes can proliferate on the basis of logic, there's nothing to stop them
from exploiting our fears to get themselves ingrained in our thinking.
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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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