Re: virus: Memes and Genes
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 11:04:00 -0500 (CDT)

On Tue, 15 Oct 1996, Reed Konsler wrote:

> >#3) I have yet to see a simplistic version of "atheism". I propose that we
> >don't see slow-minded atheists because those with slow minds have problems
> >supporting the concept, regardless of their knowledge base.
> I assert: For the vast majority of people (95%) genetics plays little or
> no role in memetic development.

This is inobvious.

> Since the simplest conclusion one can draw is that two phenomena are not
> related I will require some hard evidence including but not limited to a
> sufficiently detailed mechanism based on observed experimental data to
> convince me that the two systems are coupled in human development.
> Not that they can't be in other systems, or that it's imposible the two
> have some bearing on one another.

Occam's Razor requires the appropriate linguistics to use correctly.
General Relativity has VERY simple equations, compared to its competitors!

> It is my opinion that the "determinism-meme" propogates in spite of
> contradictory evidence because it assauges the guilt of those of use lucky
> enough to have developed in a rich memetic environment when we observe
> those who are not so lucky.

I agree. I did not use the 'determinism-meme' above.

> It is very possible that there are narrow windows within childhood
> development in which we have the capacity to aquire language, priciples of
> mathematics, abstract spatial thinking and other memes ascribed to the
> "intelligent". Since many concepts and abilities build and extend from
> those already in place missing one of these windows may handicap an
> individuals development for life. Should such neglect link (as it might)
> with socio-economic situation one might erroneously conclude that there was
> some genetically determining factor.

The window for language acquisition is already known: age 2 to age 6
or 7. It is very difficult to correct for accent with phonemes not used
in that time zone. This window is so severe that children will CREATE
language, rather than not acquire one. A recent demonstration of this
was in Nicaragua, when the state government started a school for the
totally deaf. The children, once put together, took the pidgin gestures
they were accustomed to and CONVERTED them into a full-blown sign
language, with no recognizable relation to other sign languages.

The window for principles of mathematics does not reliably exist. When
it does exist, it usually starts around age 13 and does not terminate
reasonably. [this has to do with biological maturation affecting the
levels of abstraction allowed in thought; this pattern is well-documented.]
The quality of this window is also unreliable, when it does exist.

> Wake up. If you are well fed, clothed, loved, educated and attendend to as
> a child then you will be more intelligent as a result, presuming you are
> not handicapped by significant menal defects. Childeren are resillient,
> and all of us have developed in less than ideal circumstances. We are
> testaments to the ability of the developing mind to overcome violence and
> deprivation of many sorts. The intitial stages of mental and physical
> development (say 0 to 8) are more consistent determiners of "intelligence"
> than any hackneyed genetic argument.
> Reed

I violate your last presumption--"not handicapped by significant mental
defects". Most concretely, I find social intelligence and 800 math
equally taxing mentally and physically. When I went off about the
torture and physical endurance effects required for mathematics, I was
simply describing personal experience--and I pay that experience for
both 800 math and social intelligence.

When considering how to improve my on-job performance, I must consider 3
different mental illness syndromes as partial matches. Someone ignorant
of my work would consider any one of these immediately disabling me from
my current job; in fact, treating any of them by conventional means will
disable me from my current job.

It would take some extreme education to increase intelligence. Most
education doesn't affect intelligence, just the knowledge base.

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd