virus: Belief String: Mimesis

Ken Pantheists (
Wed, 17 Apr 1996 03:21:40 +0000

ken sartor wrote:
> Shrodinger's cat refers to mixed states of existence. When observed,
> the mixed state collapses into a single state (with the appropriate
> probabilities). Perhaps this is relevant to beliefs? For instance,
> without thought i half believe there is life on mars and i half
> disbelieve. When confronted, my belief collapses into a pure state?
> (I don't believe this to be true; mixed states of belief seem to
> be able to exist simultaneously in humans...)
> I am unsure what difference it makes as to whether of not evidence of
> a belief exists. If this is true, does it mean the 'beliefs' of
> our ancestors that were lost to history were not *real*
> beliefs? If there is no way _ever_ to recapture the unstored events
> of history, should we conclude that they do not exist or just conclude
> that they are unknowable?

I agree wholeheartedly. I am not a scientist, or even a science student.
(I guess I'm a science groupie). I am an actor and I'm on this board
because I am a real-world friend of Dave McFadzean. Mixed states of
belief do exist simultaneously in humans and, apparently, we are the
only creatures who do this. It is observable in our ability to mimic, or
participate in mimesis, (No, I don't mean memesis) I mean our ability to
concieve of the Other (Alterity) and mimic it (Mimesis). This happens
every time an actor steps on stage. When I perform, my consciousness is
operating on two levels. One: I am Steve doing my job. Two: I am Hamlet
or Bobo the clown or whatever and, if I am doing my job well, I am
thinking, behaving AS the prince or the clown. Many people are under the
misconception that actors are just excellent liars. That we always know
we are "acting". I think this is a defensive statement because most
people are treatened by the idea of several levels of truth. Conversely,
people who believe in several layers of truth tend to stay quiet about
it because the "single truth" people (naive as they may be) are always
jumping all over the place pointing out "inconsistencies" and looking
for "hypocrisy". These two groups are known in my circle as "critics"
(for proper pronounciation, say it with a sneer) and "artists". More
general terminology would label them as "Fundamentalists" and
"Philosphers". See Michael Taussig's "Mimesis and Alterity" for more
info on this.