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Philosophy

Platitudes

Platitudes are memes (in Dawkins’ original sense) and optimally self-propagate through minds, artefacts and other information-processing systems in direct proportionality to the extent that they provide mechanisms, not for individuation or narcissistic self-validation, but for the regeneration of the assumptions, the grammatical and logical rules, and the gestalt contexts from which they derive. We do not own these ideas anywhere near so much as they own us; it is precisely in a persistent illusion of inviolable self-determination that the world most successfully and efficiently colonises and inhabits us all.

It is a tough pill to swallow to acknowledge that you are not in control quite as much as you might choose to think you are but if it is any consolation, the successful and sustainably continuous self-propagation of memes and ideas through a transmission medium of minds and material artefacts is not at base any different than our own psychological and material presence in the world. What each sub-system lacks, the others provide and this is a basis through which to understand self-identity as much as material or information presence in the world.

I have few platitudes, which makes my message less contagious in any distributed or integrated information system sense. It is not so much a burden I bear as an obligation I accept.

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