Re: virus: CoV Memetics: Mysticism of the 90's

Dave Pape (
Wed, 12 Feb 1997 12:49:56 GMT

At 23:47 11/02/97 -1000, Peter wrote:

>Our minds are shaped the same way clay is shaped, if it rolls down a rocky
>hill. Splat! Thunk! Wunk! Happily, we shape the hill, as well, in turn.

And so does the clay. A bit. This is what glacial valleys are about.

>It is
>not unreasonable or unobjective then to consider that there may be ways to
>understand these cycles and therefore perceive the nature of a person and
>just what changes and directions a person may have gone through, is going
>through, or may encounter in the future. It is no different than predicting
>a chemical reaction, given a certain set of conditions.

But, just like to /fully/ understand a chemical reaction you'd need to
understand ALL conditions throughout the whole universe, to fully understand
a person, you'd need to understand the entirety of culture just prior to
making your prediction, and you'd have to know just how their memetic
ecology was structured... probably entailing knowing how their brain is
physically wired up...

>Where is the empirical proof that criticial thinking works any better than
>any other method of thinking? There isn't any. There is no way of testing
>such a claim. Nobody could ever come up with a control group.

My friend in London reckon that critical thinking "works better" than
"mysticism" in that it allows us to do more environment-affecting work, like
putting satellites in orbit, engineering global comms networks etc. But then
I suppose that, if a lot of scientists' and engineers' work proceeds by
non-critical thinking (and I'm sure it does, because we don't have time to
question ALL our assumptions ALL the time), then what "works better" is this
mixture of critical and non-critical thinking.

[Brodie-baiting]: Woah, imagine what'd happen if a scientist hadn't reached
level 3! They'd really be at a disadvantage, wouldn't they? Because they'd
be unable to shift efficiently and productively from one mode of thinking to
another, and might waste time over-criticising and analysing, say, their
actions while they're just washing up test-tubes, or they might carry on
processing non-critically when it's time to read a rival experimenter's
paper! Does this mean... that Level 3 is quite widespread among scientists?
Or that level 3 is, to an extent, automatic? Or that people can usefully
switch between memetic points-of-view in level 2? Or that the whole Levels
thing is a bit of an over-simplification? C'mon Rich, let Hokusai into your
graphic life.

Dave Pape
Jar 148.

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