Re: virus: Fw: Memetics in our time

Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 04:37:29 GMT

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    Subject: Re: virus: Fw: Memetics in our time
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    On 27 Jan 2002 at 15:30, L' Ermit wrote:

    > As it is mentioned on the site referenced by David
    > [][/url], it is perhaps worth noting
    > that the "100th monkey effect" is a fabrication that has taken on a life of
    > its own - but remains invalid. The following is an old post with some minor
    > changes.
    > Regards
    > Hermit
    > ["virus: Critical Mass of Enlightenment", Hermit, Sun 1999-04-11 23:43]
    > The "Critical Mass of Enlightenment", sometimes known as the "Hundredth
    > Monkey" phenomenon, and also sometimes known by the more scientific
    > sounding, but equally bunkum term "morphic resonance" invented by Rupert
    > Sheldrake, is far from being a new idea. The following article with a few
    > additions by me was lifted from the Skeptik's Dictionary [url=
    >][/url], a site worth consulting whenever your
    > bullshit detectors begin to twitch! If the "Critical Mass of Enlightenment"
    > ravings expressed recently on this list have not caused your bullshit
    > detector to slam into the overload range, it is time to have it serviced...
    > This snake-oil concept has been exploited by shamans and other con-artists
    > for years (e.g. the TM movement), to say nothing of wishful thinkers and the
    > simply deluded. Deciding which of the categories a particular exponent of
    > ridiculous concepts belongs to, is left as a task for those who have more
    > time than sense. Why people choose to transmit memes like this is less
    > important than the obvious lack of rational skepticism applied to
    > "paranormal" phenomena, which leads to people publishing bunk like this
    > based upon unfounded or indeed refuted (as this one is) research and
    > hypothesis.
    > The hundredth monkey phenomenon refers to a sudden spontaneous and
    > mysterious leap of consciousness achieved when an allegedly "critical mass"
    > point is reached. For example, people start thinking about ending world
    > hunger. One person gets another to start thinking about it who gets another
    > who gets another not ad nauseam or ad infinitum but until suddenly a
    > breakthrough is achieved when the "critical mass" point is reached. Then,
    > spontaneously and mysteriously, everybody starts thinking about ending world
    > hunger.
    > The expression "hundredth monkey" comes from an experiment on monkeys done
    > in the 1950's. It was alleged by Lyall Watson in his book Lifetide that one
    > monkey taught another to wash potatoes who taught another who taught another
    > and soon all the monkeys on the island were washing potatoes where no monkey
    > had ever washed potatoes before. When the hundredth monkey learned to wash
    > potatoes, suddenly and spontaneously and mysteriously monkeys on other
    > islands, with no physical contact with the potato-washing cult, started
    > washing potatoes! Was this monkey telepathy at work or just monkey business
    > on Watson's part?
    > It makes for a cute story, but it isn't true. At least, the part about
    > spontaneous transmission of a cultural trait across space without contact is
    > not true. There really were some monkeys who washed their potatoes. One
    > monkey started it and soon others joined in. But even after six years not
    > all the monkeys saw the benefit of washing the grit off of their potatoes by
    > dipping them into the sea. Lyall made up the part about the mysterious
    > transmission. The claim that monkeys on other islands had their
    > consciousness raised to the high level of the potato-washing cult was a lie.
    > The origin of the tale is the 1979 Lyall Watson book, Lifetide. Watson has
    > since confirmed he made the story up. In 1989, Watson said "It is a metaphor
    > of my own making, based on very slim evidence and a great deal of hearsay. I
    > have never pretended otherwise."
    > The notion of raising consciousness through reaching critical mass is being
    > promoted by a number of New Age spiritualists, including Ken Keyes, Jr. Mr
    > Keyes has published a book on the WWW which calls for an end to the nuclear
    > menace and the mass destruction which, he claims, surely awaits us all if we
    > do not make a global breakthrough soon. The title of his treatise is The
    > Hundredth Monkey [url=][/url]... In
    > his book
    > he writes such things as "there is a point at which if only one more person
    > tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness
    > is picked up by almost everyone!" Well, it seems to be working for spreading
    > the word about the hundredth monkey phenomenon! In fact, there seems to be
    > no end to those seeking spiritual transformation of themselves and the
    > universe. Witness the M100 or Hundredth Monkeying! project
    > [url=][/url]. "Our prayer is to bring
    > benefit to all of world society without prejudice or bias." Who could
    > complain about such a goal? Well the age of unreason excemplified by some
    > list members might be upon us, but the CoV is theoretically a rational
    > organization. To claim any kind of "scientific" validity for this concept
    > requires that it meet the requirement of repeatability, predictability and
    > falsifiability. So far I have not even seen a demonstration of "collective
    > consciousness" never mind a suggested method of falsifying its supposed
    > existence.
    > If you want more information on hundredth monkeying, you should read
    > Morphogenetics and Monkeys [url=
    >][/url]. It has
    > all the latest stuff on building up your inner-energy field , doors of
    > perception, healing and the millennium. It must be very exciting to part of
    > a global fellowship of soul nourishers. As the Monkey Man says: "...healing
    > the human heart is central to all other necessary changes in the
    > twenty-first century." Amen nutter.
    > ------------------------------------------------------------
    > further reading
    > Follow-Up Senior Researcher Comments on the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon in
    > Japan by Markus Pössel and Ron Amundson
    > [url=][/url]
    > The Theory of the Hundredth Monkey Debunked
    > [url=][/url]
    > "The Hundredth Monkey" by Ken Keyes, Jr.
    > [url=][/url]
    > Amundsom, Ron. "The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon," Skeptical Inquirer, Summer
    > 1985. Reprinted in The Hundredth Monkey and Other Paradigms of the
    > Paranormal, ed. Kendrick Frazier (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1991)...
    > $18.36
    > Amundsom, Ron. "Watson and the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon," Skeptical
    > Inquirer, Spring 1987.
    > Possel, Markus and Ron Amundson. "Senior Researcher Coments on the Hundredth
    > Monkey Phenomenon in Japan," Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1996.
    > _________________________________________________________________
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