Re: Abstractism

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sun Feb 03 2002 - 21:55:30 GMT

  • Next message: Keith Henson: "Re: Words and memes"

    Received: by id WAA12338 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Sun, 3 Feb 2002 22:01:12 GMT
    X-Originating-IP: []
    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: Abstractism
    Date: Sun, 03 Feb 2002 13:55:30 -0800
    Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed
    Message-ID: <>
    X-OriginalArrivalTime: 03 Feb 2002 21:55:30.0896 (UTC) FILETIME=[7F812D00:01C1ACFD]
    Precedence: bulk

    >>Date: Sat, 02 Feb 2002 16:19:12 -0800
    >From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >Subject: Re: Abstractism
    >The way I understand it, Mr. Rorschach just spilled some ink on a piece
    >paper and folder it over with no intention of transmitting a message.
    >was creating a convenient equivalent of clouds for his patients.  I
    >intention has a great deal to do with transmitting messages.  Anything
    >transmitted without intent is not a message.
    >It may not be a message, but it is information. If you go back to my
    >at a dinner party’ example from earlier, the other diners are not
    >instructing the novice intentionally. The novice is learning by copying,
    >while the other guests are behaving (by their own criteria) normally.
    >Therefore they are transmitting an unintentional message - "this is the
    >behaviour you adopt at dinner parties" and which the novice endevours to
    >adopt. Irving Goffman wrote quite a bit about this sort of *subliminal*
    >messaging (and many other social psychologists). This is also part of where
    >i see the problem of who is doing the choosing - us or the meme.
    I also discussed receiving information in that message or the one before and
    someone compared it to seeing pictures in the clouds. We receive a great
    deal of information from others that is not meant as messages. Everything
    about a person provides us with information. Some of it is meant to be a
    signal and some is not.Most of it is deduced from the abundant clues
    provided by speech patterns, decisions made about clothing, gestures, head
    and facial hair, etc., etc. Some of these things are meant as messages and
    some are not. But they provide us with information regardless. Information
    not meant to be a message can, nevertheless, be a meme. That's because the
    information can be transferred merely by its presence.

    A person who wears a particular costume indicating status (a business suit
    for example) is sending a message. The person from another culture sends
    messages with his clothing and speech patterns to other members of his
    culture but not to people of another culture. People of the other culture
    get information from this data even though it is not necessarily the
    information being transmitted. If they use what they learned to change
    their own behavior, I think you can call that a meme.


    Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger:

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Feb 03 2002 - 22:09:51 GMT