virus: Why not ramble

Wade T.Smith (
Tue, 14 Oct 97 22:11:39 -0400

Tunes you may hum along with-

1. Ok, maybe Plato had a bit of it right. I have a faint background in
design, and although we have all heard the phrase 'Form follows function'
we probably mostly ignore it. To a designer, it is a seminal axiom. Each
designer hopes to fashion that most perfect of things which equates form
with function, so that even a perfunctory practice becomes unnecessary to
utilize the tool created. This is not the platonic perfect shapes though,
but it is a quest for a probable impossibility. (We would call it
religious if we were stupid. The merely fatuous call it spiritual.) Say I
plan to design a computer mouse, or a knife, or a bottle-opener, or a
church- the _idea_ of designing this thing is to attain the equation- to
hold both the form and the function in mind- to make that which is both.
If we can ever posit and create a thing wherein form=function, could we
then ever manage to equate intention with behavior? And why not? Does not
culture become a dross? And in what way does this differ from Richard's
new found Teilhardism? And does this (it seems to...) make memes a bit of
a nuisance? I had flippantly called for 'To a life without memes' before,
but this now seems like a desirable goal. Would this be true
enlightenment? And why not? What is culture? What great bottle-opener has
it made? (Did it even make a bottle? I don't think so. It decorated a

2. Dreams have no memetic content. Memes are only active in actions. A
comparative study of dreams against their precedents- the activities of
the day- would necessarily separate the memes presented by one's actions
like cream from milk. (In a way, I have here defined memes as those
things which produce non-autonomous or non-habitual actions. I have not
seen a better distillation.) It is time for a real hammer job on the
romantic ideas about dreams. Nothing in the cognitive sciences raises
them above the completely mundane. The whole notion of thought as well?

3. All these graphs and charts.... Of what possible use are they? I
remember the fantastic mandala I made combining the yin/yang and
matter/anti-matter and, of course, Dali's Four-Buttock Continuum, all
while held in the incredible space provided me by a most luscious dose of
actual Sandoz acid. (Yes, I am that old....) While maths are wonderful,
is there not a real danger in these fabrications? Where is the science,
the data? There is no there there, to steal a phrase. And once some data
comes in, I can only imagine that some multi-dimensional matrix could
contain it. Time for the Cray crowd. Hurricanes got nothin' on this. And
why is no-one gathering any data? Why has this become a booth for
granola-gurus and not an active part of cognitive science?

4. But maybe it's all because winter is around the corner.

Wade T. Smith | "There ain't nothin' you | shouldn't do to a god." |
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