Re: necessity of mental memes

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 03:04:40 GMT

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    Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 22:04:40 -0500
    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: Re: necessity of mental memes
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    At 08:47 PM 22/01/02 +0000, "Steve Drew" <>


    >I was under the impression that the level of choice in accepting or
    >rejecting memes is one of the things that is still very much undeceided.
    >Although i agree that contagion and virus are emotionally charged, i am
    >hard pressed to think of something that could replace them. For me memes
    >and acceptance/ rejection run through a range from choice to no choice,
    >and the ability of various people to accept/reject varies th same. For the
    >no choice my idea is that the meme in question may fit with your own
    >collection of memes very closely that you accept them without the
    >necessary scrutiny that something that conflicted with them would command.

    Right. If I hear about some idea in science which fits right in with the
    rest of science it will rapidly become part of my set of memes. As an
    example, I had no problem with the presentation a few years ago that
    stomach ulcers were caused by a bacteria and years before that about plate
    tectonics. I have a vivid memory though of a quite senior scientist who
    flew into a rage about an article on the topic in Scientific American.

    >if i understand Susan Blackmore's book correctly, then she believes we
    >have no choice whatsoever.

    Susan is *technically* right on this point. It is the direct consequence
    of the fact that everything is either directly caused by something else or
    the result of a random event.

    So you can look back and state with confidence that everything that
    happened including any memes you picked up were either caused or
    random. You can even say that the future is the same way. But it makes no
    difference in the operation sense because you will always feel you have choice.

    Keith Henson

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