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Pilosopiyang Politikal ng Isang Pinklawan, Part 6: Communication in Its Broadest Sense

Updated: Jun 29

Much as we communicate viruses from one computer to another, or from one organism to another, we also communicate memes from one mental model to another.



Modus Ponens. Photo by Sophivirus, Wikimedia Commons.


I pick-up inputs via my senses and process these inputs with my mental model. I generate output and embed this output into my memory. I pick-up bits of information from my memory, process these and generate some meme that I again embed in my memory. I pick-up inputs about some individual via my senses, process these inputs, and generate a profile that I embed in my memory. I pick-up some meme from my memory together with this profile, process these inputs together, and generate behavior that is observed by the individual noted earlier. The individual picks-up my behavior as input and processes this input with his own mental model. He generates an output in the form of the same meme and embed this in his memory.


Next, this same individual goes through the same process. Another individual ends up with the same meme embedded in his memory.


Next, this third individual goes through the same process. Another fourth individual ends up with the same meme embedded in his memory.


Common to those involved with generating the same meme and communicating this meme to other individuals is the happiness or satisfaction that goes with the generation of the meme -- that results into the embedding of this meme into their memories. This probably involves oxytocin and endorphins, or some similar chemical substance.

As already pointed out in this blog earlier, there is good chance that altruism is a natural trait of systems, organisms in the least, e.g.

https://www.pinoytoolbox.org/post/altruism-wins-good-wins-over-evil-tenet.

Sharing of the meme, with good chances in this case, can be expected of many individuals given opportunity to share.


Now take this argument.


If I am going to eat, then I will need food.

I am going to eat.

Therefore, I will need food.

More arguments.

If I am going to swim, them I will get wet.

I am going swimming.

Therefore, I am going to get wet.


If I am going to Spain, then I will need a passport.

I am going to Spain.

Therefore, I will need a passport.


Arguing this way many times over, one gets satisfaction all the time. Absolutely, every time one accepts the premisses involved as true, one gets to see that the conclusion has to be true. No exception whatsoever.


Having gone through similar arguments across experience, one ends up generating a meme. The meme comes in the form of an argument — distinguished from the arguments themselves — that can be treated as a rule.


If __1 then __2.

__1

Therefore, __2


In symbolic form, here.

p ⊃ q

p

⊢ q

By convention, this is referred to as Modus Ponens.


Experience with this kind of reasoning, especially when used to predict events, invariably leads to some level of happiness or satisfaction.


Take these other arguments.


If I am a good leader, I get to be elected as president.

I get to be elected as president.

Therefore, I am a good leader.

If I am doing God’s bidding, then I am going to be blessed.

I am blessed.

Therefore, I am doing God’s bidding.


If you are a leftist, you regularly organize street rallies.

You regularly organize street rallies.

Therefore, you are a leftist.


If you are victims of injustice, then you end up in poverty.

You end up in poverty.

Therefore you are victims of injustice.


Many who use these arguments every once in a while end up happy or satisfied in some way. These get repeated over and over again all over.


There is, however, a catch.

The form of these arguments is as follows.


If __1 then __2.

__2.

Therefore, __1.

In symbolic form, here.


p ⊃ q

q

⊢ p

This is referred to as Affirming the Consequent Fallacy.

This kind of reasoning does not always lead to the expected conclusion. It may happen that both the premisses involved are true and yet the conclusion comes out false. While on some occasions this kind of arguing gives some happiness or some satisfaction thanks to the prediction being affirmed, this is not always guaranteed. In principle, anyone using this scheme ought to be wary of it.


The consequent Q is never sufficient reason for one to say P is going to occur, given this kind of reasoning or arguing. More evidence beyond Q has to be gathered.

Yet, the general public is usually bent on celebrating arguments like this.


Kung mahusay ang presidente, gaganda ang aming tulay.

Gumanda ang aming tulay.

Samakatuwid, mahusay ang presidente.


Kung mahusay ang presidente, magkakaroon ng subsidy ang college education system natin.

Mayroon na ngang subsidy ang college education system natin.

Samakatuwid, mahusay ang presidente.

Kung mahusay ang presidente, makakaraos tayo sa pandemiya.

Nakakaraos nga tayo sa pandemiya.

Samakatuwid, mahusay ang presidente.


Ang dahilan rito, hindi lamang sa tutoo namang paminsan-minsan ay hindi mumimintis ang ganitong pangangatuwiran. Isa pang dahilan, at malamang ay mas mahigpit na dahilan, ito.


p ⊃ q

p

⊢ q


p ⊃ q

q

⊢ p

Ang Modus Ponens at ang Affirming the Consequent Fallacy ay magkahawig ang kaayusan. The forms involved are closely similar.


Anyone who does not think in symbolic form is highly likely to think that these forms somehow are the same or, if not the same, closely similar.


One may even generalize that since the arguments involved are so similar, they must also be similarly reliable.


So, as one communicates to others the Modus Ponens meme out of altruistic habit, one may also have the tendency to communicate to others the Affirming the Consequent Fallacy meme. This happens in a way no different from the way viruses are communicated from one computer to another. Same with communicating viruses from one organism to another. This can go viral.


It looks like there are many kinds of memes we ought to be wary of. It also looks like many of these kinds of memes have now been communicated to a significant number of Filipinos today.

Fortunately, much as viruses can be managed with the introduction of vaccines, it looks like memes we ought to be wary of may be managed with the introduction of vaccines in memetic form. But this is another story.

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