Monday, 11 May 2015

The Iceni hypothesis — part seventeen

Lambeth Palace Library MS 6 folio 43v
(Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britanniae)
While we are always careful not to extend Medieval Celtic stories, unchanged and without a lot of caveats, to the pre-Roman period as a way of gaining more understanding of the ancient Celts, we cannot compare the Medieval with the pre-Roman for any topic unless we have targeted the topic for that comparison. A great number of things are never questioned because they are part of our cultural makeup. This does not mean that the units of our culture are our reality because the very word reality necessitates that something be examined. A cultural unit, or meme is not examined and thus can only be replicated. It cannot evolve.

I realize that this would appear to turn memetics on its head as it is described as an evolutionary theory, but evolution is more of a category and only includes things like "Darwinian evolution", or "natural selection". Wolfgang Pauli's problems with the mathematics of the latter have been largely resolved with current views about epigenetics, and these do fit with Pauli's criticisms of random mutations based on the mathematics of such. Were you to just Google these things instead of following the link I give, you would find a number of creationist web sites that quote or refer to Pauli, without giving any mention to epigenetics. This identifies their views as memes because they are unchanging and unexamined. A meme can replicate or die, but were it to change, it would not be a meme while going through its metamorphosis. That metamorphosis is an evolutionary process of various sorts that might be infinite or might be a transition to a new meme, which will then remain unchanged and replicate, die out, or cease being a meme and resume an evolutionary process. At the very best (or should it be at the worst?) memes can cluster together through their similarities, while their differences atrophy and die and the meme becomes more of a "general view" sort of meme. Their supporting similarities, which are just various happenstances that have been classified together, and would not be there otherwise, all remain unexamined as a pre-accepted reality that requires no further thought, not even the thought about whether to think about it.

Any culture which is defined has a definition which is a general meme, previously consisting of separate memes. It can be studied, but it should be understood that the object of the study is not of the culture but of the meme representing it. As a result of such study, examined parts of the meme will cease to exist as the composite meme simplifies. The meme is thus the final decay state of a sign (semiotics). In Jungian terms, the memescape is the collective consciousness with its "wretched 'isms" and periodic bloodbaths.

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