Re: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception

From: Wade T. Smith (
Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 06:51:07 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Knowledge, Memes and Sensory Perception
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    On Tuesday, January 15, 2002, at 12:30 , Joe Dees wrote:

    > I hold the "the scientific method is a valid investigatory tool for
    > understanding our world" meme. Even when I am completely still, it
    > remains in my mind, and may be decoded into any number of different
    > behaviors, depending upon the object of study, which share this common
    > principle. The behaviors (plural) are examples of how their common
    > motivating meme may be expressed, and it may be expressed in a plethora
    > of related, but nevertheless differing ways.

    You cannot show me any portion of this motivation without behaving in
    some manner to show me. There is no 'may'.

    Your behavior is the only meme. And I might, or might not, arrive at
    _any_ sort of memetic understanding about it, unless I attempt my own

    Whatever expression you decide to use, what you _think_ you are doing
    does, yes, determine, to a degree, but not totally, what your behavior
    is. (What you meant to express is not always what you end up expressing,
    unless your skill level is very high.)

    I personally like the scientific method- my understanding of it is
    pleasant to me- and I might just understand, and attempt to replicate,
    almost all of your behavior, maybe even all of it.

    But, I might be a person who hates the scientific method, and I will
    then reject any attempt at replicating your behavior, and, if I am the
    only person you show your behavior to, your meme dissipates.

    There is no evidence of your motivation, and no expression of it,
    without a behavior on your part. If you are lucky and skillful, an
    artefact is expressed, and some viable culture is available to present
    it within, where it enjoys a sustaining existence. (Not a cargo culture,
    for instance, where there is no reference for understanding what you are
    expressing, and therefore no possibility of replicating behavior, or
    sustaining meaning.)

    Whether you think you hold something in your mind that motivates you or
    not is irrelevant to the memetic progress your idea will make. Indeed,
    it is quite possible that I will attempt a behavior that is entirely at
    odds with your motivation. Your behavior is all that is memetic. I will
    only see what I will see- from my own vantage.

    Culturally, I might be in accord with your behavior, and accept it,
    grasping a large content of your expression.

    But I might not, and, indeed, just be annoyed at your behavior, and chop
    off your head.

    - Wade

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