Re: virus: The logic of memetics (form. virus digest 116)

XYZ Customer Support (
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 18:36:40 -0700

> From: Schneider John <>

>I agree that no better approach has yet been found. I would like
>to point out, however, a result of pure logic, called Godel's
>Incompleteness Theorem. IT says: For any formal system for deter-
>mining truths, there will be truths which it cannot determine, and/
>or falsehoods which it thinks are true.

The scientific method addressed Godel's Incompleteness Theorem years
and years ago. Remember what I said about that it isn't enough to
simply be logical, since anything can be made to sound logical IF you
accept the precepts that a particular system of thought offers? And
that the scientific method was developed to address that weakness by
elimimating the uncertainty that could be present in the precepts
of any hypothesis? Well yet another one of those things it added to
logical thinking systems was this idea related to Godel's
Incompleteness Theorem: that there is no such thing as absolute

People realized that only way to maintain progress (and not repeat
what happened during the Dark Ages) was to maintain a willingness to
discard or modify thoughts at the earliest sign of failure. The only
way to maitain that willingness is to assume that there is no such
thing as absolute truth, and that means to realize that there is
always something more true than what we have now, waiting to be
discovered out there somewhere. The scientific method operates on the
principle that we can never know the absolute truth, only relative
truths, and we must therefore be in constant search for newer and
better truths. This is in direct contrast to blind-faith which
assumes we know all the answers and we are always certain.

There may or may not be such a thing as absolute truth but the
scientific method says to always assume that there isn't. People
realized that there might be times when one can't know everything or
observe everything there is to observe about a particular phenomenon

Therefore, for the scientific method, there will *not* be truths
which it cannot determine, and/or falsehoods which it thinks are
true because the scientific method doesn't think anything is true,
and the whole goal of science is to continually search for as many
undetermined truths as it can find.

> That is an assertive statement:
> 1) You are assuming that people on this list are brainwashed.
> I do not think it is proper of you to assume this.

I always assume that *all* people I meet is brainwashed. It is a
better tactic than assuming that they are not brainwashed.

> 2) You are assuming that the best way to deal with brainwashed
> people is via harsh indiplomacy. (Actually, I wouldn't know,
> so could you reference a scientific study which shows this to
> be the case?)

There isn't scientific study that I know of on this. But there have
been many references to deprogramming techniques that have and have
not worked posted on the Internet. I have a copy of one of those
postings but it is too large to put on this email list. I will try to
find the site I got it from.

> OK then: let us call out for suggestions on:
> - How can we work to make memetics have greater appeal to the
> purely logical, scientific thinker?
> - How can we do this in such a way as to not lose the (supposed)
> appeal of CoV to non-scientific thinkers? Possible?

Could I bring this up again on Sat (tommorrow), instead of answering
it now?