Memespace

100 word stories. Post all you like, maybe we'll dip in and use yours?
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Memespace

Post by eric_marsh » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:37 am

The Memes were constantly at war. They fought for control of memespace, the universe in which they lived. Sometimes competing memes, such as science and religion, shared a common memespace locality in an uncomfortable coexistence. But as long any two unique memes existed there could never be peace.

Some memes utilized others, such as patriotism or religious duty, in a bid to destroy the memspace of their enemies. At best this achieved only limited successes.

Eventually science architected a new memespace from the very fabric of time and space where it alone would exist.

The universe awoke and examined itself.

-------

Note, IMHO far too often when people speak of aliens, they are referring to "man in a rubber mask" aliens. This is very common in contemporary science fiction shown on TV. I've always thought that real aliens should be truly something apart from us - entities that think and perceive the world in an entirely non-human manner. That's why my drabble about an ant hive. Aren't ants aliens?

So perhaps with this one I'm stretching the concept of alien architecture beyond what the contest writers anticipated but hey, it's fun thinking outside the box.
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:22 am

I did not know architected was a word, but a google confirms it. Thanks for enriching my word-power for the day. Bit of bias to science here though. It would be nice (and tricky in a 100 words) if you could weave in the concept of religion also creating it's own meme-space. Sort of like both sides deciding to quit arguing and going to their own rooms.

Fascinated by the concept of memetics, ever since an encounter with a sentient memetic virus in 1992 sent me to the psych-ward. (It's why I post so much, constant stream of memetic flow through my head that I occasionally am able to capture and put into words.)

Long story.

Oh yeah, I agree that Alien Archetecture should include anthing that would not be classified as Native Architecture.
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by eric_marsh » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:56 am

It sounds like a fascinating story. Make me wonder if I picked up a meme infection somewhere along the way.

Beyond that, I pretty much agree with everything that you said, including that there isn't enough room in 100 words to do a story with science and religion each owning their own spaces. Sounds like some material for a short story.

I also think the idea of humanity being nothing more than containers for competing memes is an amusing one.
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by Algernon Sydney is Dead » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:13 am

eric_marsh wrote:IMHO far too often when people speak of aliens, they are referring to "man in a rubber mask" aliens. This is very common in contemporary science fiction shown on TV.
Of course, that's the whole point!
IMO, there are two basic kinds of sci-fi...
(1) "Hard": speculates on things by judiciously applying and extrapolating from facts using logic and/or physics.
(2) "Social Exploration": Examines human behaviors, societies and politics in a "safe" and approachable way.
We can't talk about the coming police states, for example, without high emotions, knee jerks, or even personal peril. But set themes in the Serenity, Star Trek, or Star Wars 'verses and some of it might actually educate people.

We use "rubber mask aliens" for the same reason that all those great nursery rhymes and many novels use animals. It's not much of a secret that the rabbit is the King, but the rhyme or book is fairly safe, while talking openly risks a very short "haircut".

Hard Sci-fi requires much more work, risks boring the audience, and is notorious for getting details wrong, as technology advances.

Worse, when you incorporate hard sci-fi, you are expected to get the known stuff right and to speculate on the possibilities intelligently.

We, quite rightly, judge hard sci-fi both as a story and as science. When I read a story, I judge it in my nominal "cantankerous bastard" mode.
When I read hard sci fi, I use the same mode but add anal-retentiveness to it.

~~~
This drabble is positioned as hard sci-fi and I have problems with it on that basis. The use of "memes" here is sloppy and not inline with Dawkins' coinage.

A meme is a single idea or behavior that replicates or spreads, it's derived from "repeat" or "mimic" -- the cognitive equivalent of a gene.

Larger concepts, such as "religion" or "science", are not memes but may be collections of memes (plus inate mechanisms). These would be more like chromosomes.

Memes, like genes, are not at war by definition. They seek only to replicate. Sometimes that conflicts with other memes, sometimes it it cooperates with them, most of the time, neither.

Also, cognitive dissonance is rampant and means that two conflicting memes are routinely spread by the same organism. Meme "competition" is not a zero-sum game.

Even religion and science are not mutually exclusive. If that ham -- in my fridge -- suddenly shapes itself into a Semitic face and starts spouting proverbs at me, you can bet your sweet booty that I'm going to get religion. It would be the scientific thing to do, based on new evidence.

Finally, the idea that "science", as a meme, crafted a new "memespace" smacks too much of that old fallacy that wishes make reality. Such notions can't be inserted into hard sci-fi without a decent explanation (and still retain credibility).


~~~
So, here's an outline of a more technically correct (and maybe more entertaining, maybe) version of this story.
  • Memes seek to replicate as much as possible.
  • Memes that help their host live longer, have a better chance of spreading. Likewise memes that bring their host into more contact with other hosts.
  • Memes discovered greater success by working with their brothers, sisters, and clan members. They formed "culturgens" -- which grouped into meme cities like "religion".
  • The "religion" culturgens were massively successful and greatly benefited the hosts in a social manner.
  • Alas, dum, dum, dum; religion had a fatal weakness. The culturgens denigrated the hosts' ability to interact with physical reality. Thus, when the inevitable environmental changes came, whole (uh) hosts of hosts were unable to cope; and perished.
  • Culturgens that emphasized physical reality, and how to play within reality's rules, now had a major advantage. They came together in a new, mighty city: "Science".
  • Religion saw science as a threat, and so alienated Science.
  • Science fought back, but eventually, neither side could triumph (at least until the superior, silicone-based hosts are ready).
  • So science and religion merged into a godawful mishmash of the worst of each -- forming Modern liberalism and environmentalism.

~~~
I've always thought that real aliens should be truly something apart from us - entities that think and perceive the world in an entirely non-human manner. That's why my drabble about an ant hive. Aren't ants aliens?
Maybe, maybe not. There is a strong case for parallel evolution. That is, intelligence must, or is likely to, arise from similar and repeatable paths. Ditto, social animals. So, if we ever meet extraterrestrials, they may be completely incompatible at the molecular level, but still be very recognizable at the macro level.

Ants as aliens has been done a lot. But they don't count as we understand a lot about them and we already share billions of molecular and evolutionary decisions in common.

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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:51 am

zomg ASID, your Cerebrum is showing!!!! Cover up, for Gawd's sake, there may be ladies present!!!

On the Hard SF subject, it's worth noting that any novel involving space-travel, (with the possible exception of long cold-sleep, kiss a billion years goodby modes of travel) is making use of "The Magic-Wand" drive. Hyperspace, Schmiper-space, and all that. So, there is always a level of suspension of disbelief required even in the hardest of SF.

On liberalism and environmentalism, well your bias-slip is showing a bit there, but hey, that's ok, we all got our biases. Might be an area of interesting self-inspection for you to continue to delve into, as I'm sure you do anyway. I'm wary, personally from my own past, of any time I've tried to point my finger at an "evil" if you will. In my youth, I thought the bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki were possibly evil at the worst, or just plain mean at best. As an older man, with a more thorough understanding of the imperial based, total loyalty culture of the samurai code (which met it's end at the conclusion of WWII) I came to understand that Japan itself didn't need to be beaten, (which it did, of course) as much as that total dedication of the Emporer/Samurai system had to be destroyed in their cultural psyche. Completely obliterated. The bomb was a very effective means to do so. The fact that it saved 100's of thousands if not millions of lives (on both sides) by making an invasion of Japan unnecessary was a positive result. Were the shadows on the wall of Hiroshima and Nagasaki regrettable? Certainly... After all, war is hell and something no sane man seeks out. The only thing you can do when confronted with it is to seek it's end as rapidly as possible.

So what's my point here? It's totally dedicated extremism that is the major threat (to those who are not part of the extremist movement in question,) whatever that movement may be, liberal, conservative, or otherwise.

Just as those on the right (in the extreme) use "liberal" as a pejorative, and cite horrible, smearing, unfair tactics against the right, on the left (in the extreme) the word "conservative" is viewed in EXACTLY the same way. Those on the left can cite almost word for word, their own instances of horrible, smearing, unfair tactics in a totally analogous manner. It's easy to find such examples, because both sides engage in such behaviour.

There are good minds on both sides that are very adept at this reflective mud-slinging. (This process is terribly fascinating to the bi-polar processes in my bi-polar mind) but it gets back to Tweedy's comments earlier about the discussion being so necessary, this "I'm Right, and Your're Wrong" mentaility on both sides is cognitive grid-lock.

As some long-haired hippy freak once said, "Nobodies right, if everybodies wrong..." My bipolarity suspects that there must be some analogous quote from a bookish, suit-wearing, church-going, gun-toting smart guy, which echoes the same sentiments, from the other side.

On environmentalism? Well, certainly there are some who use, either dishonestly, or honestly but fallibly, bad-science. But then again, I don't want to live down-wind from Hanford, nor would I want efforts to contain what will long be a festering radioactive threat not pursued because such efforts might be viewed as environmental clap-trap. But clearly, wanting to keep radiation from flowing freely into the Columbia River is probably something that most people can get behind, (even at the risk of that being an inarguably environmentalist position...)

There's my 7.23 cents. (adjusted for inflation...)

(Ironic that I started this post out by chiding you for usin all o dem high-falutin book-larned werds and Caahnnnsepts... t'aint it?)
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:31 am

Second ironic observation. This dialog is going on between ASID and me. And when you take my initials and rotate then in a never ending cycle you get...

SDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDL

Trippy, no?
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:34 am

Oh ya, and so as not to derail Eric's drable thread completely, my oldest brother (who was into Hindu-ism for some time, and is generally a introspective, trippy, what's it all about, alfie, kind of guy told me years ago words that amounted to the final line of your drabble.

"The universe awoke and examined itself."
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by eric_marsh » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:38 pm

Al, I think that many of the points you make are good ones. Yes, I took liberties with the definition of memes but as you wrote, it's hard getting a story with a lot of complex concepts down to 100 words.

Parallel evolution seems likely, but I suspect that even minor differences in evolutionary paths could have a significant impact on the psychology of a species. Still, some things seem likely, such as competition being a driving force for intelligence.

Hmmm.... So what would cause a Supreme Being to be intelligent?

Ultimately this theme could be expanded to describe all of the concepts that people fight over today and have always fought over but there's not enough room to do so. Consequently I had to use an extremely abbreviated shorthand.

Regardless of all that, I'm pleased with this one. I have not previously been exposed to a meme quite like this, thought I expect that if someone else has I will hear about it shorty.
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by eric_marsh » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:16 pm

ROU Killing Time wrote:There are good minds on both sides that are very adept at this reflective mud-slinging. (This process is terribly fascinating to the bi-polar processes in my bi-polar mind) but it gets back to Tweedy's comments earlier about the discussion being so necessary, this "I'm Right, and Your're Wrong" mentaility on both sides is cognitive grid-lock.
True, true.

When I was young I learned that truth is a three edged sword... oops wrong universe... that there are two (or more) sides to every story and that one should walk a mile in the other guy's shoes before judging him. Thus it shocks me that there are so many people that call other folk evil without even trying to consider their perspective. A arrogant attitude that I'm right and everybody else is wrong seems to be a hallmark of our species. The so called war on terror is a good example. While I do not agree with the actions of many middle eastern radicals (any more than I agree with the actions of many Christian radicals) I feel that it behooves me to at least understand where they are coming from. They do feel that they have legitimate grievances and when one looks at the history of western powers meddling in that region it's hard not to argue.

A number of years ago we went on a week long scuba diving trip in the Red Sea. It was eye opening just talking to the people of Egypt, learning how they view themselves and the rest of the world. At one point some gentlemen who owned a shop in Sharm el Sheikh showed me an islamic newspaper with a photo of a bunch of American Christian types holding signs essentially saying that the middle east should be turned to glass and asked me as an American what I thought of it. I explained that I thought these people were religious nuts. Surprisingly the people I was speaking to were somewhat resistant to my denigration of a religious group, even though that group may have been their enemies.

There are so many different people in this world who claim everything would be perfect if people just lived by their particular set of rules. IMHO they are all so, so wrong.

Well, enough of that. On to your regularly scheduled drabble.
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by strawman » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:55 pm

eric_marsh wrote: When I was young I learned that truth is a three edged sword... oops wrong universe... that there are two (or more) sides to every story and that one should walk a mile in the other guy's shoes before judging him. Thus it shocks me that there are so many people that call other folk evil just because they have a different perspective. The so called war on terror is a good example. While I do not agree with the actions of many middle eastern radicals (any more than I agree with the actions of many Christian radicals) I feel that it behooves me to at least understand where they are coming from. They do feel that they have legitimate grievances and when one looks at the history of western powers meddling in that region it's hard not to argue. A number of years ago we went on a week long scuba diving trip in the Red Sea. It was eye opening just talking to the people of Egypt.
May I posit that there really are extremely few Christian radicals? There are certainly extremists who self-identify as Christians, but although the second commandment prohibits the taking of the Lord's name in vain, most Christians break that commandment without even thinking about it, because they don't understand that calling themselves Christian is merely a form of vanity. The word 'radical' comes from the latin 'radix', which means 'root'. That's where radish comes from. Jesus says that the one who puts his teaching into practice is like one who builds his house on a foundation of rock. Of all others, he asks "Why do you call me your Lord, and yet not do what I say?"
Seems to me pretty clear that unless you practice what Jesus taught, which is pretty clear in the Sermon on the Mount, then it is misleading to call him Lord and to call yourself a Christian, particularly a radical one.
According to that logic, how many radical Christians do you know?
Here's my list:
-Francis of Asissi
-Mother Teresa
-Gandhi
-Most Down's Syndrome people I have met.

People will come in my name, saying, I am he; and a number will be turned from the true way.
(Mar 13:6)

Watch out for people who call themselves Christian. Demand proof.

*Steps down from soapbox*
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by eric_marsh » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:17 pm

strawman wrote: May I posit that there really are extremely few Christian radicals?
My point is not so much to point the finger at Christians, but rather just to show that I'm not exclusively pointing fingers at one particular group.

As for knowing Christian radicals, I do have one family friend, Father Bill, who I think qualifies as a radical Catholic priest. When the Pope passed by in San Antonio Bill sat on the roof of Saint Marys with a large stuffed gorilla toy and waved the gorilla's arm at the Pope. That got him sent to Africa. When he returned they put him in charge of a very poor hispanic church in Houston and from the pulpit he demanded that his congregation all register to vote.

Bill knew Mother Teresa and said that she was a mean old bird.

Sounds pretty radical to me.
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by strawman » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:26 pm

eric_marsh wrote:Bill knew Mother Teresa and said that she was a mean old bird.
Can't say I knew her, but spent a little time with her. I'd say she was tough, and had no tolerance for pretense. She dissed the Archbishop, but what was he going to do? Send her to Calcutta?
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by eric_marsh » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:28 pm

strawman wrote:
eric_marsh wrote:Bill knew Mother Teresa and said that she was a mean old bird.
Can't say I knew her, but spent a little time with her. I'd say she was tough, and had no tolerance for pretense. She dissed the Archbishop, but what was he going to do? Send her to Calcutta?
Sounds like admirable qualities to me.
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:34 pm

strawman wrote:
eric_marsh wrote:Bill knew Mother Teresa and said that she was a mean old bird.
Can't say I knew her, but spent a little time with her. I'd say she was tough, and had no tolerance for pretense. She dissed the Archbishop, but what was he going to do? Send her to Calcutta?
Oh my, (wipes tears from my eyes...) you on a freakin roll there, Strawboy.

Was Nietzsche right when he said, "The last Christian died on the cross"? My own opinion is, not really, but if you modify that phrase to "The last True Christian died on the cross." it's quite accurate. Most honest self-examining members of the faith stipulate that all fall short of the standard set, and do so as a tenet of their religion.

My 2nd eldest brother (who went ABD* towards his Ph.D in European Intellectual History of Philosophy) has often made the same point you make about the origins of the term "Radical" (that's why the square root symbol is called a radical, as it derives the root of a number.) As an atheist, he still expresses admiration at Jesus, calling him the greatest radical thinker that ever strode the earth, deliberately acting to set in course events that would lead to the subversive toppling of the greatest power on earth at the time, the Roman Empire, at the same time shattering a hole in the legalistic wall of Mosaic law, and the power it had when wielded, as it was, by the Pharisees of his day.

Wildly paraphrasing the Gospels here, (don't have a bibble handy at the moment) Jesus explained that the 10 commandments weren't sent by God to make the world a better place, their purpose was to damn every single man, woman, and child on earth, if interpreted literally, thus showing the need for a gracious and forgiving God. His death on the cross broke the rule of God's perfect justice which legalism demanded. If God can crucify perfection that did not deserve crucifixion, it is within his province to forgive transgression that is impossible to avoid (without being perfect.) It offsets the harsh old testament edicts that "any sin leads to death" (if you WANNA go bag your neighbors wife, that's it, your'e screwed, you've just broken a commandment), turning it around to become, "no sin is unforgiveable by God." My own take is that "Forgive them, they know not what they do" wasn't just directed at the mobs and the soldiers that drove the nails, it was a message forwards through all time, and backwards to the literal or metaphorical (depending on how you view this issue) Adam and Eve.

Which brings me to support some other concepts that Strawman seems to have touched on. Ganhdi's statement that "I like your Christ, I don't like your christians.." (paraphrased)

The label, "christian" means nothing by itself. I could be wearing a read suit, with a pointy tail, horns and a pitchfork and call myself a christian.

Likewise, I don't believe that someone honestly identifying themselves as an atheist is grounds for eternal damnation. (Again, I've got Jesus on my side on this one. Remember in Heaven when some there looked around surprised that they were their, asking "Why are I here, I never done believed in ye, or advanced yer causes." and Jesus replied, "When I was hungry, you gave me food, when I was cold you gave me warmth, etc, etc... Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you did unto me)

From 15-29.5 I identified myself as a "born-once atheist" As many of you know, I am a diagnoised bipolar schizoaffective. In the course of my illness I have a)experienced the surety that i was Lucifer, the fallen angel, b)Jesus Christ, the risen savior, and c) most points in between.

Ultimately, I have settled to the belief that I won the lottery and am, in fact, the very, very least of his brothers. How is that an honor you may ask? There is great kindness in so many people in my life. Kindnesses that have saved my life, kept me from being a muttering person, starving in the streets. With every kindness done to me, I've seen that kindness passed up to Him and I've seen someone who is assured salvation (and they don't even know it, or do it for that reason.)

Pretty cool, huh?

As far as christian exremism? You say their are few, and that may be true in the current day, relatively speaking. Just don't go back into the past and tell that to Joan of Arc, the victims of the Inquisition or the crusades, (but then we've already established that the label "christian" does not to equate to true christian behaviour, in and of itself...)

On the same note, many like to call America a chrisitian nation. Doesn't that mean that each and every one of us should love our enemies right down to Osama Bin Laden, and forgive them, for they know not what they do?

Christianity would say yes, we should turn the other cheek, having been slapped. Was 9/11 a worse offense than being nailed to a cross? Dead is dead.

Pragmatism says, naturally, as a nation we must defend ourselves, but we should do so with sorrow at the necessitty, not with joyful glee that we're gonna go show those damn rag-heads God's vengeance, with a hateful heart.

Don't tell me there wasn't joyful glee in the hearts of many americans when Saddam fell through the trap-door, (shucks, he wasn't even part of the 9/11 plot, in fact, toppling the secular Sunni government was a major priority to Bin Laden, and we did his work very well by slipping that noose around Hussein's neck.) People have always loved a good public hangin' though. Fry up some chicken, and take the kids out for a picnic and let's watch the condemned kick and dance for our pleasure, then go off to church and thank the lord for havin saved 'em.

I've got a dear friend, who is VERY republican (old-school, states rights, limited government fiscal responsiblity, what-not) who SHUDDER when a politicians invoke Jesus' name for votes. He'd really prefer, (and strongly suspects) that Jesus would rather not be used as a vote-gathering mechanism.

Ok, rambling rant over. You can have your soapbox back now, Strawman. Thanks for letting me borrow it.

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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by Algernon Sydney is Dead » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:36 pm

ROU Killing Time wrote:Second ironic observation. This dialog is going on between ASID and me. And when you take my initials and rotate then in a never ending cycle you get...

SDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDL

Trippy, no?
So, you are saying that you are a dyslexic Mormon who takes psychotropic substances?

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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:40 pm

Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote:
ROU Killing Time wrote:Second ironic observation. This dialog is going on between ASID and me. And when you take my initials and rotate then in a never ending cycle you get...

SDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDLSDL

Trippy, no?
So, you are saying that you are a dyslexic Mormon who takes psychotropic substances?
On the nosey... :-)

(Actually no, I'm afraid I don't believe that underwear can be magical, but it can be diabolical if you don't change it at least once a week, whether it needs it or not...)
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by eric_marsh » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:49 pm

ROU Killing Time wrote:Pragmatism says, naturally, as a nation we must defend ourselves, but we should do so with sorrow at the necessitty, not with joyful glee that we're gonna go show those damn rag-heads God's vengeance, with a hateful heart.
Well said.

As an aside, I was raised an atheist by a Catholic father who ended up as a Buddhist. In college I took some comparative religions classes and looked around for a religion to try on. I ended up as a Wiccan HP but eventually had to admit to myself that I just can't buy into supernaturalism. So now I'm just a garden variety agnostic.
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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:06 pm

eric_marsh wrote:
ROU Killing Time wrote:Pragmatism says, naturally, as a nation we must defend ourselves, but we should do so with sorrow at the necessitty, not with joyful glee that we're gonna go show those damn rag-heads God's vengeance, with a hateful heart.
Well said.

As an aside, I was raised an atheist by a Catholic father who ended up as a Buddhist. In college I took some comparative religions classes and looked around for a religion to try on. I ended up as a Wiccan HP but eventually had to admit to myself that I just can't buy into supernaturalism. So now I'm just a garden variety agnostic.
I have great respect for agnosticism as a viable position to argue from. I mean, how can you go wrong, with honestly saying... "Gosh, I just don't really know for sure?"

Personally, I've got a seat next to Doubing Thomas , having made a personal ultimatum upwards saying "Prove it." It was an ordeal, and gosh I understand the "Blessed are you who have seen and believe, more blessed are those who have not seen and believed..." being in the former camp, rather than the latter.

After what I went through, I got my own personal proof, and the warning "Hey, just cause it's been proved to you, don't think that you can go out and prove it to anyone else... Not your job, Steve, but by all means feel free to discuss your experiences with others... Might givem food for thought... Can't hurt anyway, (p.s., avoid doing it around pits with lots of hand-sized stones and large angry mobs unless you have a very thick skin...)
"Never fuck with The Culture"
Sublime In Peace Iain M. Banks.

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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by Algernon Sydney is Dead » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:06 pm

eric_marsh wrote:Regardless of all that, I'm pleased with this one. I have not previously been exposed to a meme quite like this, thought I expect that if someone else has I will hear about it shorty.
Who are you calling shorty?! :x :P

But you are correct, variations on this theme are as old as 4000 years in the middle east. Substitute things like "the word" for "meme" as part of the translation.

I'm not familiar enough with oriental and "pre-enlightened" American mythologies, but they do have non-physical beings who create things via words alone.

As for the rest, I think it boils down to the notion of whether there is an objective truth, outside of human wishes. There is.

This also means that for any given criteria, some cultures are better than others, some religions are worse. So, If someone says that Muslims are our enemies, that is a objectively testable statement and seems to be true, both historically and statistically. But for conservatives, we know that it is wrong to apply statistics to an individual, no matter how true they are for a group. (In matters of force only. Statistics do apply quite lucratively, to individuals, in commercial settings like insurance -- to a point.)

There is much more to say here, but small doses, for now.

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Re: Memespace (Drabbler #16 Entry)

Post by eric_marsh » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:10 pm

Algernon Sydney is Dead wrote:As for the rest, I think it boils down to the notion of whether there is an objective truth, outside of human wishes. There is.
Wow! That is quite a bold statement.

I think it's a pretty good guess that there is an objective reality, though some forms of Buddhism would deny that. But an objective truth? I've thought about it a bit myself and it appears to me that truth itself is an abstraction, as is, for example, mathematics.
Life is a tragedy for those who feel, but a comedy to those who think. - Horace Walpole
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