Re: playing at suicide

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 02:33:09 GMT

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: playing at suicide
    Date: Sun, 06 Jan 2002 18:33:09 -0800
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    >I wonder that imitation, in any or all of its aspects, has anything
    >whatsoever to do with real learning, and, moreover, if memetics has
    >anything to do with anything.
    >- Wade

    Has anyone made any claims for a connection between imitation and "real
    learning," whatever that is? It's merely a word used to describe a way of
    passing tools of culture from one person to another. Whether those units
    are of any use to society depends on what they are used for. The value of
    something lies in its use rather than its existence.

    You have obviously picked up enough of your own culture to chat on the
    internet. That means you have learned to use the memes connected with
    computers and the internet whether you attempted to do so or not. Whether
    you call them memes or not is irrelevant. The process referred to by the
    terms memes and memetics has worked on you. You picked up these tools by
    imitation or other means and decided to use them to influence other people.
    That, in a nutshell, is what memes are and what memes do.

    If you decide not to call them memes, that's OK. A word is only useful to
    people who decide to use it. It's just another meme like the rest of the
    language tools you use. If you decide not to use it, no one will know and
    no one will care. In that case, as far as you are concerned, they won't
    have anything to do with anything. I, on the other hand, find them very
    useful for understanding human language and culture. A hammer is, after
    all, more useful to a carpenter than it is to a mathematician.


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