verbalobe (pilgrim_eye) wrote,

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Three pages

On three almost consecutive pages (57, 58, 60) of the copy of Dawkins's "The Selfish Gene" that I am reading, appear the following three passages, respectively:

"Here the [genes'] program may take the form of the following instructions to the survival machine [the organism's body]: 'Here is a list of things defined as rewarding: sweet taste in the mouth, orgasm, mild temperature, smiling child. And here is a list of nasty things: various sorts of pain, nausea, empty stomach, screaming child. If you should happen to do something that is followed by one of the nasty things, don't do it again...'" (p. 57)

"Through the technique of simulation, model battles can be won or lost.... No amount of simulation can predict exactly what will happen in reality, but a good simulation is enormously preferable to blind trial and error." (p. 58)

"Honey bees suffer from an infectious disease called foul brood." (p. 60)

Each of these, in ways that I won't detail -- the second one relates to Scrabble -- evokes or touches on one or more recurrent, current, and seminal themes in Marsh's and my perpetual conversation about life. So much so that the first one goes by our shorthand reference "red berries," which stands in for a good twenty-minute thesis. (Almost like those monks who tell jokes by the number.)

What does any of this mean?

It probably means Richard Dawkins is some kind of soulmate -- a recursive proposition, since his writings and those of writers like him have helped form who we are.

Certainly the coincidence of finding them all within 4 pages is meaningless.

Mostly it means I must read on and finish the darned book, and keep dogearing each page.
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