[ExI] You know what?

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Wed Feb 13 09:26:00 UTC 2008

On Tue, Jan 22, 2008 at 09:03:28PM -0800, Lee Corbin wrote:

> And there are bigger questions at issue here.  First, are people
> really so mindless that they can be taken over by a meme without
> any awareness?   And speaking of fashion in general, why are
> people so eager to conform, anyway?

Some would posit that being an imitative species is how we managed to
learn language, not to mention all sorts of useful things for staying
alive.  A bunch of researchers say that monkeys and apes don't in fact
'ape', or at least that it's hard to get much general evidence of their
doing so (counterpoint: some mothers -> daughter tool use transmission
in chimps, and young males imitating alpha male chimps.  But of course
those too have obvious survival value, and still, young human children
seem to have a unmatched generality of who they attend to -- including
each other, which helps with the collective re-invention of language
every generation.)

-xx- Damien X-) 

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