Re: Debunking pseudoscience: Why horoscopes really work

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 03:48:54 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Debunking pseudoscience: Why horoscopes really work
    Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 19:48:54 -0800
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    > Philip:
    > > > I don't deny there is such a thing as the self being the individual.
    > > > would be silly. All I claim is that if the individual would be
    > > > from its cultural baggage (i.e. its cultural education and upbringing)
    > > > animal-like self would remain. I used the phenomena of the feral
    > > > to support this view. It speaks for itself that wolf-children may bite
    > > > in my ass if I'd deny their possible existence.
    > Ted:
    > > Then why refer to the self as a "self-plex?" If it's real, then why
    > > 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
    > > dip into unconscious to plague us. Selfish memes become ingrained
    > > they exploit a deep, psychic need. So, for instance, American football
    > > 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
    > > 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
    > > (or vice versa) any more than fields to particles.
    > Hi Ted, I guess I understand where the source of our disagreement lies.
    > Memetics really goes so far as to consider consciousness as some property
    > emerging from exposure to culture. Consciousness is thus in a way,
    > If you are conscious of some event you can express it in words right?

    What is this "you" that's conscious of events and can express it in words?
    If there really is a "you" in there somehow, then why assume the human "you"
    came from memes as opposed to the animal "you" that preceded you

    > It is the little voice called consciousness in your head reflecting on
    that event
    > that triggered your attention.

    Whose head? Whose attention?

    > Then if you are able


    > to express your conscious experience in words consciousness necessarily
    > consists entirely of memes for the simple reason that words are memes.
    > [snip]
    > The view that the self really consists of memes is emphasized once more

    Great article. Thanks.

    I think what it shows is that the feral child tells us nothing about human
    nature. The child raised by wolves is a wolf in the body of a human. Even
    when removed from its "family" and raised as a human, it remains an animal.
    What makes this research so significant is that it shows exactly the nature
    of the beast we evolved from. It helps us imagine the organism that lived
    two million years ago and looked remarkably like us but was absolutely,
    positively *not* us.

    With their aptitude for mental self-perception, our hominid ancestors
    provided the ground from which human consciousness was born. Though our
    faces and bodies look almost exactly like theirs, we are as different from
    our predecessors as life is from rock. Just as life self-generated on the
    earth, the human mind sprang wholly new from primate consciousness.


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