[ExI] You know what?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Feb 13 20:39:22 UTC 2008

Damien writes

> [Lee 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.

And that is certainly true. This indeed, as you point out, helps
greatly to explain fashions. But as a comparitively highly evolved
memetic species, we are certainly capable of overriding impulses
to imitate, and we must encourage people to do so.

In other words, we should not hesitate to point out to people that
the mindless following of fashion is beneath humanity.


>  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.)

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list