Re: Abstractism

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Mon Feb 04 2002 - 23:52:00 GMT

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    > "Steve Drew" <> Re: AbstractismDate: Mon, 04 Feb 2002 21:15:03 +0000
    >>Date: Sun, 03 Feb 2002 13:55:30 -0800
    >From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >Subject: Re: Abstractism
    >>>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
    >>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
    >>adopt. Irving Goffman wrote quite a bit about this sort of
    >>messaging (and many other social psychologists). This is also part of
    >>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
    >someone compared it to seeing pictures in the clouds.  We receive a
    >deal of information from others that is not meant as messages.
    >about a person provides us with information.  Some of it is meant to be
    >signal and some is not.Most of it is deduced from the abundant clues
    >provided by speech patterns, decisions made about clothing, gestures,
    >and facial hair, etc., etc.  Some of these things are meant as messages
    >some are not.  But they provide us with information regardless.
    >not meant to be a message can, nevertheless, be a meme.  That's because
    >information can be transferred merely by its presence.
    >A person who wears a particular costume indicating status (a business
    >for example) is sending a message.  The person from another culture
    >messages with his clothing and speech patterns to other members of his
    >culture but not to people of another culture.  People of the other
    >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.
    >I agree with a lot that you have said, but the information given by the
    >practiced diners does constitute a message. If the novice did not bother to
    >adopt their practices the others would very quikly recognise this and
    >respond accordingly. This is why i say that a lot of the messaging is not
    >intentional in that they have thought about what they want to say, but it is
    >intentional in that it is what we do all the time - conform to the norms of
    >the culture we live in and broadcast those norms in the things that we do.
    >It is only when some one acts contrary to those norms that we actually start
    >to think about what we our selves are doing. And people usually respond
    >negatively to major infractions of norms that have been committed. i agree
    >with you that messages, information etc, intentional or otherwise tend to be
    >culture specific, but i assumed that was as read. Inter-cultural
    >communication is a whole different ball game as many of us are aware and you
    >yourself have mentioned.
    Plus Rorshach blots don't 'behave' in any fashion, communicative or not, depending upon their apprehender; they just sit there, with no message encoded in them.
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    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)

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