Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Power of Conversation

Corante says:
(posted by Paul B Hartzog)

“I don’t read anymore; I just talk to people who have.” — Dr. Tom Malloy, University of Utah

Dr. Malloy’s tongue-in-cheek comment sparked an interesting conversation about… well… conversation. When two people have a conversation, they act as proxies for the many ideas in their heads which are drawn from the many things they have read. In effect, a conversation is a many-to-many interaction that is both mediated and moderated by the participants. The individuals catalog, sort, tag, and filter ideas as they are drawn into the shared space of the conversation.

The upshot of this is that the memes, or actual ideas, gain a tremendous advantage in establishing new connections when conversations happen. Similar to Dawkin’s principle of the “selfish gene,” these “selfish memes” promote their longevity every time humans converse. For memes, the conversation is like sex, an opportunity to mingle, merge, and generate offspring that will outlast them."more...


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