Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id VAA26337 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Sat, 16 Sep 2000 21:05:18 +0100 Message-Id: <200009162002.QAA18143@mail3.lig.bellsouth.net> From: "Joe E. Dees" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2000 15:07:37 -0500 Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT Subject: Re: memetics and knowledge In-reply-to: <20000915104917.A1648@reborntechnology.co.uk> X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Win32 (v3.01b) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
Date sent: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 10:49:17 +0100
From: Robin Faichney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: memetics and knowledge
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> In a message I've deleted, Joe said something like:
> If you can't say it, you don't know it.
Saying it does not mean that the other person automatically gets it
(some people just aren't too bright), just that (s)he in principle can
(that it semantically adheres to the state or process of affairs being
> This is simply wrong, but it opens up an interesting topic: the distinction
> between memetic and non-memetic knowledge.
> Intellectual knowledge is not the only sort -- there is also experiential
> knowledge, that gained through experience, rather than verbally or via
> other media, from books, parents, teachers and friends.
Experience is the primordial source for all that verbal and written
and other media knowledge passed on.
> Now, there is obviously a large overlap between intellectual and
> experiential knowledge, in that much of what we learn through direct
> experience we can verbalise and pass on to others, and much of what we
> learn from others, we could have learned through experience.
Bingo. Perhaps all. But that is the crux of the contention.
> But there remains a residue of experiential knowledge that is not
> communicable. Can you ride a bicycle? Could you teach someone else
> to do so using only words, so that the first time they mounted one,
> they could display the same level of skill as yourself?
See below, before you prejudge what I can and cannot verbally do.
> Obviously not. We are talking about motor skills here, which can be
> learned only through experience. And to say that this is not knowledge
> is mere semantic quibbling. If I can swing an axe through, say, 135
> degrees, the head travelling perhaps a couple of metres, to split a log,
> hitting it within a centimetre of the point I was aiming at, then I know
> how to use that axe! (At least, in the log-splitting context. I could
> actually do that, a few years ago, but I'm sadly out of practice now.)
If you described to me the series of interconnected motions you
performed in order to do this, I could most likely learn to do it
myself, but even if I couldn't, you could still describe it, at least
much better than someone who does not possess, i.e. has not
learned, the skill.
> Mystical "knowledge" (and here we are reaching the limits of usefulness
> of that word) is of the experiential sort, and it lies beyond the overlap
> with intellectual knowledge, being largely non-communicable. Of course,
> just as we can teach someone who is willing to do so to ride a bike, by
> being with them as they practice and sharing the snippets we can find
> a way to verbalise, with many hints and some actual physical support,
> so mysticism can be taught, to those who are willing to learn, the first
> several lessons usually being concerned with meditation.
I've meditated on the above, and decided not to accept it <grin!>.
> But, to sum up, some knowledge is non-intellectual, and non-memetic,
> and our memetic theorising, and general intellectualization as well,
> will be sadly lacking, if we forget that. I'd go so far as to say that
> it's the ground upon which everything else is built. Unless it's based
> upon, and ultimately returns to, actual experience, it's sheer hot air.
How To Ride A Bike:
Get on the bike with one foor remaining on the ground and the
other one on a pedal, with you hands hpldong the handgrips. Push
off with the ground foot while pushing forward and down with the
pedal foot, then balance your body on the before-behind vertical
plane as you steer forward (by keeping the handgrips equidistant
from you) and pushing the pedals with both feet (they will describe
circular paths). If you need to turn, pull the handgrip on the side
you need to turn towards closer to your body (the other will move
farther away) as you bank your body into the turn. To stop, either
squeeze the handbrake (on some models) or pedal backwards to
engage the footbrake( on others).
See? It is easy to tell someone how to ride a bike (which is
different that making them immediately able to do so).
> Robin Faichney
> 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)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
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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