Re: Grants theory of everything

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sat Jan 26 2002 - 15:43:16 GMT

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: Grants theory of everything
    Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 07:43:16 -0800
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    >Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 08:23:17 -0800
    >From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >Subject: Re: Grant's theory of Everything
    >New memes grow out of old memes and the pool of memes we have available
    >us as individuals, based on our past experience, limit the size of that
    >pool.  Throw in the emotional attachment we have to many of our memes,
    >gained from our experience, and it narrows the choice even further.  So
    >although the pool of available memesis large, the life you've lived
    >constrains the choices you are likely to make.  In the final analysis,
    >of your choices are predetermined based on memes you already have
    >with and have chosen previously with good results.  It's when you run
    >into a
    >situation outside of your experience with that the freedom of choice
    >important.  Then, the more options you have available the greater your
    >chances will be of finding a useful solution.
    >Thus spake Grant ;-)>
    >Experience does limit the size of the memepool, but it is still a very
    >pool, and this pool will contain memes of various fidelity of the
    >Some will be near perfect copies, but some will only be a pale shadow of
    >original. So instead of having choice in a new situation , you are going to
    >have a choice in a vaguely familiar situation. One example would be a
    >party for the first time. We all have a basic idea through watching tv etc
    >of the appropriiate behaviours expected, but when we actually perform it it
    >will tend to feel strange and unfamiliar as it is something we have not
    >performed before, and we will look around the room at other peoples
    >behaviour and try to mimic theirs. So it is not just new situations where
    >choice exists, but situations were we have an imperfect grasp of what is
    >going on. This is where your theory may be of use.
    >You wrote:
    >< We see someone use a tool to get (do? - my addition) something and we try
    >to use it. If it doesn’t work as we expected, we listen and try again until
    >we can use it, or discard it.>
    >This would straddle between the familiar and automatic and the unfamiliar
    >and new.
    You're right, Steve. Most choices are made based on many factors and many
    memes. In your dinner example, you will be dealing with a number of people
    and past relationships will come into play. If you are in the presence of a
    potential boss, what you choose to do and say will be affected by that. A
    potential wife or girlfriend will bring out another set of responses.
    Parents and siblings bring to the party a whole load of conflicts and
    desires based on a past that goes all the way to the day you were born.

    The things you want to impress family with will be different and based on
    entirely different motives than potential business or marriage partners.
    You'll want a future boss to see you as competent and intelligent, for
    example, and the possible girlfriend will be judging you on other
    characgeristics. Parents and siblings will bring out the games you have
    played all your life with each other. Mom's apron strings might still feel
    restrictive and Dad's judgemental attitude may make you feel small and
    inadequate in his presence. Sibling rivalry is real and always in play.

    So memetic responses to each of these challenges will be dredged up from the
    meme pool and chosen based on meeting the opportunities before you, old and
    new. Things affected will include the clothes you wear, the vocabulary you
    use, the expressions on your face, your tone of voice, the subjects you
    decide to talk about, and when you choose to arrive and leave the party.

    In a single evening, the average person will have made hundreds or thousands
    of choices in response to the roughly equal number of choices the other
    people at the party make in response to him or her, as well as to each
    other. People will choose to drink alchohol or not, to smoke or not,
    whether to eat too much or too little -- the list goes on and each choice
    will be based on concepts of what is useful or appropriate to the person and
    the situation. Anger may flare up and make you say things you will regret
    later. Fear that you're not making the right impression might cause you to
    suppress certain memes you would ordinarily use. The whole affair will be a
    maelstrom of memes being transmitted and respressed as the situation changes
    from minuted to minute.

    Like the words we choose when we converse, our choices are made on the fly
    in response to the perceived challenges.


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