Re: virus:"other reality"
Fri, 3 May 1996 19:44:05 -0400 (EDT)

>One observed to act as if X were true is said to believe X.

Isn't there a better way of stating this that doesn't open it up to attack?
A lot of issues in "postmodern" science and thought have poked holes in the
binary belief/non-belief dichotomy of this very 'rule'. In an age of
scientific and cultural simulations, there might be a better approach.

A simple analogy once expressed by Jean Baudrillard: a group of actors
decide to take on the role of bank robbers and dress up accordingly, get
fake guns, and enter a bank. Upon their mere entrance, people react with
true fear (a result of their previous experiences, habit, etc. either
vicarious or firsthand with robbers in banks). The actors then "act as if a
bank robbery (X) were a true event" and line the people up with their fake
guns. They never rob the bank, and they simply leave after a few moments of
robber-roleplaying. No doubt, the police won't see it as a hoax, since the
people and bank "believed it to be a robbery (X)", however the actors knew
it was never the case. So, by the above rule, do the actor/robbers believe X?

This may be silly semantics...but I'm asking for clarification... since the
world seems to be a fairly semantic place. :-)