Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Mother of All Memes

The graphic to the left shows The Mother of All Memes without her clothes on or with her clothes on, depending on which scientists you are prone to believe.

One would think that her children, poor little ole memes, could have a life of their own free from the tugs, pushes, and pulls of the gravity of scientific bloviation, hypothecation, and even pontification.

But not so, alas, all things are within the grasp of scientific thought-gravity so each and every lowly meme is pulled and tugged asunder, abroad, to, fro, ever looking for a home but always a captive somewhere somehow.

The tug of war begins between the competing camps concerning the likely mother of all memes, the mind and/or the brain.

That old tug of war started by the philosophers, but now pumped up with cosmic steroids by the quantum mechanics, those meme bags even Mr. Goodwrench bows down to.

In the beginning (cool meme huh?) there was dualism and monism gravity which pulled folks into the belief that mind is a non-physical component on the one hand, but pulled folks into the belief that mind is the result of purely material processes of the physical brain on the other hand:

Philosophy of mind is a branch of modern analytic philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain. The mind-body problem, i.e. the relationship of the mind to the body, is commonly seen as the central issue in philosophy of mind, although there are other issues concerning the nature of the mind that do not involve its relation to the physical body.

(Philosophy of Mind). Well now doesn't that make a meme a bit insecure, in as much as every meme has been told that it is:

a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena

(Wikipedia, Meme). One of the scientists, a meme maker of cosmic proportions in terms of causing gastric pains to the establishment scientists, one Roger Penrose, is constantly causing memetic gamma ray wars between factions within the 100 year meme war community.

He is a master at hiding from both sides of the meme grabbers, so he postulates that:

In my view the conscious brain does not act according to classical physics. It doesn’t even act according to conventional quantum mechanics. It acts according to a theory we don’t yet have.

(Discover, emphasis added). Oh my the man is saying we have had 100 years of psychotherapy but we do not know fundamentally what we are talking about?

The memes are shuddering. No, he is saying we work on faith in science some times. His new book deals with the faith of science and will ruffle feathers.

But he is saying we don't know how the mind works at the fundamental level, so we activate our science based upon what the mind does, not on what the mind is.

That is why this blog calls for a new approach based upon what the human species needs to do in order to survive, not what we need to do just to win silly arguments.

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