virus: KMO quotes KMO & Homo Deus

Sun, 03 Nov 1996 14:26:35 -0800

David Leeper wrote:

> > >Every new definition of Level 3 is either meaningless, useless,
> > >completely
> > >personal, or contradicts several other definitions. CoV claims to
> > >have
> > >some level of rationality and this so-called "Level 3" undermines
> > >this.
> > >It makes us hypocrites.

To which KMO (having been infected by Snow Crash and Cerebus memes has
taken to referring to himself in the third person) responded:
> >
> > David, I love these "conclusions" which come right out of left field.
> > You have this tendency to write for a while, and then throw out some
> > unrelated ad hominum attack and trust that it's position at the end of
> > your post will cause people to see it as the culmination of a process of
> > argument. Nothing that you wrote in the quoted post prior to that last
> > paragraph even remotely sets the stage for your claim that "[e]very new
> > definition of Level 3 is either meaningless, useless, completely
> > personal, or contradicts several other definitions."

To which Homo Deus rejoined with:
> There's an entire thread of postings on this topic, not just mine. Inside
> these postings are the heap of reasons the so-called "Level 3" is "either
> meaningless, useless, completely personal, or contradicts several other
> definitions." The "stuck replicators" definition is now added to the heap.

To which KMO responds with:

"You want proof? THERE'S your proof!" the candidate bellowed as he
gestured furiously in the direction of a nebulous collection of
documents. That's a politician's move David, and as far as KMO
understands it, Homo Deus isn't an elected office. In a forum like this
one, that kind of "argument" carries no weight. A good portion of the
posts in the thread to which you alluded as your "proof" that there is
no coherent definition of level 3 on the table were written by you.
Many of them were written by Tad Niwinski, who thinks that this level 3
stuff is such irredeemable crap that he's working to get "Virus of the
Mind" translated into Polish. Many of those posts come from Vicki, who
took a respectably skeptical stance and asked good clarificatory
questions. Well, none of those posts can be taken as evidence that the
whole concept of level 3 is incoherent (that is your charge, right?)
because none of the posters were attempting to articulate a coherent
definition. Strip all those posts away from your "body of evidence" and
what's left?

In the remaining body of documents you will find a number of posts in
which KMO attempts to articulate clearly and coherently just what
information he means to convey with the use of the label "level 3." KMO
thinks that two of those posts, when taken together, present a very
clear and coherent explanation of what he intends to communicate with
the use of that concept. Those posts can be found at:


David Leeper wrote:

> Is Level 3 a state of mind? a function? a piece of biological hardware?
> A practice like Yoga? It seems to morph between one of these, all of
> these and none of these.

Forgive KMO's vanity as he quotes from his own archived post.

<There is no proving that level 3 exists or that it doesn't
exist. If I describe someone as a level 3 thinker, that description is
meant to convey information about how that person lives. Worrying about
whether level 3 "exists" is odd in the same way that it would be odd if
described you as a creative person and you asked me for proof that
"creative" exists. I'm not claiming there is a thing called "creative."
Creative is a label that I use to describe you. It is a tool for
conveying information about how you think. It's not a thing; it's a
conceptual tool which facilitates my goal of conveying to you my
appreciation for your style of thinking.>

To build on that line of explanation, let's substitute "creative" for
"level 3" in David's question.

Is creative a state of mind? a function? a piece of biological hardware?
A practice like Yoga?

No, creative isn't any of these things. Creative is a label. It is a
concept KMO and others use to convey information about how someone
thinks, perceives the world, reacts to situations and approaches
problems. There is some ambiguity about this concept of creative, but
there is still a commonality of use sufficient to employ the term and
have it convey useful information.

David, if you honestly don't understand what information KMO intends to
convey by use of the term "level 3" he will be happy to attempt to
answer clarificatory questions to the best of his ability. KMO will
respond to posts of the "Bullshit! Try again!" variety by referring the
reader back to this document.

Take care. -KMO