Re: virus:Other Reality

David McFadzean (
Wed, 08 May 1996 19:44:44 -0600

At 09:25 PM 07/05/96 -0400, Reed Konsler wrote:

>I wholeheartedly add my support to the skepticsim raised towards this thing we
>are describing as "Absolute Reality". I identify such things with "Absolute
>Truth" and "God" as terms that are hopelessly vague and therefore not
>incredibly useful in this context.

I'm having difficulty understanding your point here. Maybe an example will help:
take C, the speed of light. Does anyone think C did not exist before there was
life on Earth? If we agree that there was light and it had a particular
does anyone think its value is different than it is now (299,792,458 m/s in
a vacuum).
Or that it might change in the future? Like the electron, the history of C
is very
interesting. It was once thought to be infinite, then after some early
experiments it
was thought to be vastly slower than we think now. But the experimental results
slowly converged to the value we have now, an aspect of "objective reality".
So what
is the best way to look at C? An approximation of "true" reality? A social
convention? A useful fantasy? An illusion?

>I agree with David that we infer the existence of something becuase we percieve
>(or observe) it. I don't understand why we continue to have these
>disagreements really, becuase that is my point. If you are going to define
>anything that definition must be based in observation. Otherwise how can you
>distinguish it from fantasy?

I think I agree with Bill Godby in that many important things are not observed.
But maybe you are saying that they don't really "exist", then. Do the rules
of logic exist?

Some things are inferred, not from direct observation, but from their indirect
effects. Mendel wrote about genes 50 years before anyone tied them to DNA
sequences. Perhaps the same is true for memes. We spend a lot of time talking
about them as if they exist, but no-one knows what they "really" are on a
physical level. Do memes exist?

>This is closely tied to the infered "objective reality". Such a model should
>contain the fewest numer of possible items...even so it is so obviously
>enormously complicated we will never grasp it all, even if the information were
>avaliable. I think David is afraid of us missing important parts of truth just
>becuase they are outside of our preception.

I don't think so, if I understand you correctly.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus