Re: virus: May the best meme win?
Sat, 23 Nov 1996 12:09:20 -0600 (CST)

On Mon, 18 Nov 1996, Jason McVean wrote:

> Richard Brodie wrote:
> > This touches, by the way, on one of the most common phenomena I see
> > working against the spread of science. I call it distinguish-and-discard
> > mode, and I spoke about it for the first time at the Western Washington
> > Mensa meeting last Sunday on my birthday.
> > The Level-2 mind has one fixed model of reality. Any new input must fit
> > into that model (usually called Truth) or be discarded. In
> > distinguish-and-discard modem the Level-2 mind "recognizes" broad
> > classes of dissonant input -- such as new theories, unpleasant people,
> > disturbing political views, and so on -- and lumps them into a class of
> > memes "known" to be valueless.
> This may not affect your main point but I just wanted to point
> out that "dissonant input" is really what drives science. To
> perform a repeatable experiment that give results contradicting a
> "physical law" is huge news in science... quite the opposite of
> pushing it aside after classifying it as useless. There may be
> individuals who do as you describe but science as a whole can't.
> Science quests for self-consistancy, which may be where it
> diverges from level-3, but it certainly does not disregard
> inconvenient information. At least not the field of science I'm
> in. Perhaps social sciences are different.
> Jason

1) Social sciences aren't different, they're just (so far) harder to test.
The New Deal [1930's] was an applied experiment that refuted some
previous ideas in economics, and provided the basis from which to refine a
coherent economic model for fiat currencies.

2) Only a minority of the U.S. population is skilled at scientific reasoning.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd