Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id FAA05986 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Tue, 29 Jan 2002 05:47:50 GMT Message-ID: <00bc01c1a888$0d70cf00$bd86b2d1@teddace> From: "Dace" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> References: <200201280735.g0S7Zwd26417@mail21.bigmailbox.com> Subject: Re: Abstractism Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 21:44:41 -0800 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.50.4133.2400 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.50.4133.2400 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
> >If our brains contain representations of memes, then memes evidently
> >exist somewhere other than the brain. Where are they? Behavior,
> >artifacts? As Henri Bergson pointed out a century ago, in his book
> >*Matter & Memory*, that which represents the world cannot
> >simultaneously be a part of the world.
> Bergson was wrong on many things; his book DURATION AND SIMULTANEITY, in
which he attempted to refute Einstein's relativity theory, was a source of
great embarassment to the philosophical discipline.
Thanks for refering me to this awhile back. Bergson's mistake was to
attempt to demonstrate the falsehood of relativity by reducing it to a
paradox. He claimed he was simply being more Einsteinian than Einstein. If
we're to take relativity seriously, we must assert that no object is ever in
motion, for it's always motionless relative to itself. Therefore, if a
rocket leaves the earth and travels at 90 percent the speed of light, then
its occupants won't have aged as much as those back home. When they return
and come out from their ship, we will seem older to them than we should be,
while they'll appear younger to us. But since nothing moves relative to
itself, from the point of view of the space travelers, the earth will seem
to have rocketed away from them at 90 percent the speed of light. When they
come back, they will mavel at how little we've aged, relative to them, and
we will be horrified to see how old they've gotten in such a short time.
So, when the astronauts step out from their rocket, what happens? It's like
matter meeting antimatter. Does the universe explode or something? Yet
this interpretation seems to be incorrect. What if the astronauts really
are younger, and we really are older, like Einstein says? Does this mean he
was wrong about relativity? The earth would have to be, in some sense,
absolute in its location, such that the rocket is somehow absolute in its
motion. This would necessitate a center of the universe, and we're back to
the ether. I'm not sure this has ever been seriously addressed. Bergson
was unfortunately dismissed, and philosophy along with him.
> The meme IS the representation;
> when eleven people all have learned the mass-energy conversion equation
(that energy is equal to mass multiplied by the speed of light squared) in
physics class, all of them have encoded tokens of single meaningful
informational type, or meme,
Memes are not neurally encoded. There are no memes in brains. Brains
materialize the moment-to-moment activities of the mind. Memes involve
memory and therefore exist in the mind, over time, rather than the brain,
> >Representation is not a property of physics. The brain is a physical
> >object. Therefore representation does not exist within the brain.
> Representation is not found in the matter and energy per se, but in their
meaningful configuration. According to your formulation, since everything
in the universe is matter/energy, representation can exist nowhere in it.
Is this the position you are representing?
Funny that you dismissed Robin Faichney when you're using "representation"
to mean exactly what he means by "information." There's no representation
in the universe, i.e. spacetime. The only thing that's out there is matter.
This matter, also known as energy, behaves according to certain principles
which determine the configurations it takes. Whether we regard these
principles as transcendent or immanent is immaterial. The point is, it's
all physical, from the purest chaos to the most perfectly elaborate form.
All the way from quarks to galaxy clusters, you won't find anything called
"representation." From radio waves to gamma waves, there's no "information"
outside of our interpretations. These are mental things. And when they
become selfish, they're still mental.
> >are mental, and their presence is reflected in the brain insofar as the
> >brain facilitates all mental activity.
> The brain is the material substrate for the emergent mind. Are you trying
to assert, like some of the medievalists, that our minds exist in some
timeless, platonic realm, and are only beamed into our heads, say our pineal
glands, by the Great Radio Technician in the Sky? Puh-LEEEZE!
Don't pul-leeeze me! You know perfectly well I'm not saying that. Haven't
you realized by now I'm not positing a timeless eternal realm? I'm
*overturning* the timeless eternal realm. I'm showing how you actually
believe in this nonsense without realizing it.
Time, not eternity. Got it?
> >In other words, the meme itself is in our minds, while the neural
> >correlates in our brains vary from person to person.
> Close, but each meme can still mean different things to different people.
The meme that there is bacon in the fridge would mean different things to
three people sitting at a table if one was Muslim, another vegan and a third
a secular humanist omnivore.
"There is bacon in the fridge" is not a meme. It's simple information. The
meme would be "bacon is evil" or "bacon is fattening" or "bacon is good."
That sort of thing.
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