Re: virus: A Rich Inherent Dance

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Fri, 1 Aug 1997 14:32:20 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 1 Aug 1997, Tim Rhodes wrote:

> I beleive that we can employ a limited number of filters in our verbal
> conversations before they effect the nature of the conversation itself.
> Often we run several of these at once. One I've found amusing to use, of
> late, is to note how often a term or phrase I've introduced into the
> conversation is employed by the other person(s) and how long it takes for
> it to come back. Mentally tallying when my words are spoken back to me by
> another.
> Often, in the case of a word or small string of words, it will resurface
> later, well after the conversation has moved to another topic or even
> several topics later. I suspect that the use of a meme-fragment in
> conversation highlights it in the mind of the listener and moves it into
> the list of words-at-hand that are chosen by the listener when they go to
> speak later in conversation. The words recently used are simply more
> readily at hand and are thus picked first over comprible, but less
> convienent and freshly selected terms.
> (Or perhaps it is a formating tool we adopt in order to signal "this is a
> conversation", "we are communicating", "we have a connection" to ourselves
> and others.)
> An interesting aspect of this filter, as I am capable of employing it at
> least, is that, although I can note when I hear meme-fragment that /I/
> have used previously, I am unable to detect when I am parroting back a
> fragment that was used by the /other person/ first. Therefore, the best I
> can do in note its trail after it leaves me. I haven't found a way of
> getting past this particular bug yet.
> But it is an intersesting experiment to do and I was reminded of it
> when I saw:
> > Tony
> > Who has been informed that using his full name seems so formal and has
> > now reverted to something less formal.
> -Prof. Tim
> Who is having a fight with his muse at the moment and needs to be
> distracted by any means neccessary.

who can recognize her own patterns when they get parroted back too. :)