Or even plain old post-autistic-rationality.

I keep using the “scientific” meme in scare quotes … the idea that being hyper-rational, fundamentally-objectivist … the meme of using entirely deterministic and reductionist scientific arguments and logical induction … cannot be the basis of a high quality explanation in all but the simplest “scientific” context. (Every debate of any kind in any domain including public-media, seems to have to follow these unwritten rules. At root it’s a problem with myths and metaphors about the very idea of causality. From a western scientific camp, I always quote David Deutsch as having his finger on this one, and I suspect David Chalmers may be there too, if I ever get to thoroughly understand his “supervenience” and other arguments, but of course a Buddhist slant gives us dependent-arising instead of “empty” causation – See Twelve Links for that one. )

I keep accusing Dawkins of this failing – despite him being the person who brought the idea of memes to the fore, and despite him being a great scientist and writer, ironically he seems almost totally blind to this one. Cast the meme out of thine own eyes Dawkins was a working title I’ve had for some time for an essay on the subject.

I picked up earlier on “autistic” as an adjective to describe this failing. So perhaps now we have as a working title :

“Post-Autistic-Memetics :
Cast the meme out of thine own eye Dawkins.”

And for the pointless binary polarisation issue – really just a corollary of the above – we have the working title :

“All or Nothing:
Looking for an Argument”

Loads of general media anecdotes there – where press seem to determined to find “conflict” in looking for an angle on the truth of any story – even if it’s just the cock-up vs conspiracy angle, or the classic “scientists discover revolutionary new ….” angle. Gary Richardson of BBC Radio 5 springs to mind, can he interview anyone without setting them up to bad-mouth someone else ? It’s just sport for chrissakes Gary.

Post Note :
As well as Sam pointing me at Asophic & Apathistic as alternatives to “Autism”, whilst checking up on the Dupuy quote on knowledge in literature, both in the Dawkins comment thread below, I found this quote from Dupuy I’d also recorded as significant, way back when … Listing many problematic dichotomies in “knowledge”, from his AI / Cybernetics historical perspective, as well as science vs literature , he lists the dichotomy :

between Hidebound Savants
and Cultured Ignorami (or Foggie Froggies)

Savants are commonly “Autistic” – see Kim Peak threads, and others …
Here of course Dupuy is alluding in the Foggie Froggies to the more “cultural relativist” post-modern French philosophers contrasted with those trapped (hidebound) in the logical-positivist “scientific” meme.

The convergent spiral tightens its screw.

2 thoughts on “Post-Autistic-Memetics”

  1. “the meme of using entirely deterministic and reductionist scientific arguments and logical induction … cannot be the basis of a high quality explanation in all but the simplest “scientific” context”

    Have you ever had an experience of mysticism? It’s really quite a simple event. Ever tried to talk about it?
    Science fails miserably, and yet those who experience the oneness, especially those who experience it repeatedly, KNOW that it happens. It exists. It is a part of a personal reality that science can’t touch. This, from a cynical curmudgeonly mystic.

  2. Then we are agreeing Georganna – you put it more succinctly – “science fails miserably”.

    Most real world contexts of experience – mystical or otherwise – are closed to (useful) scientific explanation, was hopefully what I said.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: