Re: Debunking pseudoscience: Why horoscopes really work

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Nov 20 2001 - 06:27:15 GMT

  • Next message: Vincent Campbell: "RE: Wade's last week's phrase of the day..."

    Received: by id GAA00290 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Tue, 20 Nov 2001 06:49:44 GMT
    Message-ID: <00a301c1718e$93982140$6824f4d8@teddace>
    From: "Dace" <>
    To: <>
    References: <001001c16c62$3552d3e0$3524f4d8@teddace> <> <001b01c1709b$3bcfcb00$d187b2d1@teddace> <>
    Subject: Re: Debunking pseudoscience: Why horoscopes really work
    Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 22:27:15 -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
    Precedence: bulk


    > > > In this case, the self-plex is still mostly a clean sheet,
    > > > not defined by cultural influences and programs. If this is what you
    > > > would like to call the ego, our interpretations seem to be compatible
    > > > some extent. If not, then it seems that we differ on a fundamental
    > > > level.
    > >
    > > Self-plex is a newfangled term for ego. It's not the same thing as the
    > > self. It's a product of human imagination, ingrained so deeply in our
    > > collective memory that we can't function intellectually or emotionally
    > > except in the context of this primordial self-image. As a
    > > it therefore requires a hallucinator. Equating the self with the ego
    > > requires positing a hallucination that hallucinates itself. And if this
    > > the case, then evidently there is such a thing as the self after all.
    > > There's just no way to logically deny self-nature. One way or another
    > > going to bite you in the ass.
    > I don't deny there is such a thing as the self being the individual. That
    > would be silly. All I claim is that if the individual would be stripped
    > from its cultural baggage (i.e. its cultural education and upbringing) an
    > animal-like self would remain. I used the phenomena of the feral children
    > to support this view. It speaks for itself that wolf-children may bite me
    > in my ass if I'd deny their possible existence.

    Then why refer to the self as a "self-plex?" If it's real, then why regard
    it as an ego-like structure fabricated in the course of memetic competition?
    The self is the field within which memes are the particles. There are no
    memes without conscious selectors. Like a tune that won't stop playing,
    memes must first be consciously selected. Only then do they dip into
    unconscious to plague us. Selfish memes become ingrained because they
    exploit a deep, psychic need. So, for instance, American football has
    thrived-- relative to traditional football-- by playing on our love of
    regimented, militaristic behavior, which is rooted in our collective
    predation reflex (Ehrenreich, 1997). Without a conscious self, and its
    corresponding subterranean dreck, memes don't exist. This is no different
    than to say that photons have no self-nature apart from electromagnetic
    fields. It's not that photons exist "inside" e-m fields; they're the
    particularizations of the field. You can't reduce consciousness to memes
    (or vice versa) any more than fields to particles.

    > Philip:
    > > > I don't see why science and politics have to be mixed necessarily. At
    > > > least pure science should be able to detach itself from political
    > influences,
    > > > anyway. Technology, a product of science, may be more politically
    > > > and biased since it receives funds from industry and governments.
    > > > I don't think it's fair to consider science and politics to be
    > > > coupled inherently.
    > Ted:
    > > It's a fact of history that science developed in the shadow of
    > > See Luciano Pellicani, The Genesis of Capitalism and the Origins of
    > > Modernity, Telos, 1994.
    > Any form of science? What about the ancient greek and byzanthium(?)
    > scholars, didn't they virtually invent science while capitalism was still
    > an unknown word?

    The ancient scientists are known to us as philosophers. (Even the early
    modern scientists were known as "natural philosophers"). As Pellicani
    notes, the first "philosophers," such as Thales, Anaximander, Pythagoras,
    Heraclitus, Xenophon, and Parmenides, were all born and worked in Magna
    Graecia, which was an expression of the colonial, market-based economy that
    spread out from the Aegean to the Adriatic and the Black Sea. It was the
    original, Western-style empire, formed by individuals not so well-connected
    back home who set out to make something of themselves as pirates and
    traders. Like modern Europe it was the commonors, not the aristocrats, who
    forged the new world, and they accomplished this by means of a ruthless
    rationalism. The ideal of science-- the pursuit of knowledge-- has always
    been tangled up with its historical roots in predatory economics. While
    genuine science is a sort of applied philosophy, in reality it carries the
    ideology of the market, with its irreconcilable split between materialistic
    individualism (atomism) and the abstract principles by which the market is
    said to operate (mathematical idealism). You might say it's the Platonic
    pseudo-science, where astrology and numerology and Tarot are but shadows on
    the cave wall.


    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 : Tue Nov 20 2001 - 06:55:32 GMT