Re: virus: TT and The Absolute Truth

David McFadzean (
Mon, 04 Nov 1996 17:19:41 -0700

At 01:57 PM 04/11/96 -0800, Tadeusz Niwinski wrote:

>This way of course "truth" does not exist by itself. What do you call
>this peculiar something, a property of Objective Reality, which causes
>the laws of the universe to work (like the law of gravity) regardless of
>what we think of them?
>This something which is independent of propositions exists, doesn't it?
>What do YOU call it, David?

I call it objective reality.

>>I think it is safe to assume that we all agree that objective
>>reality exists.
>Except those who say they don't believe in believing, as it is not

OK, whatever.

>I love Jason's sense of humor with the Corinthian leather cover book.
>This is exactly what I mean by TT. David, pi exists regardless of us.
>It works for the planets. It works regardless if we know about it or
>not! There is this property of Objective Reality which makes this world
>rational and predictable. Nothing would be possible if pi was once 3.14
>and some other time 8.25. When talking about evolution, we
>automatically assume that the Nature is consistent. It wouldn't be
>possible otherwise. The judge who decides who "the fittest" are -- is not
>capricious. We are even slowly learning his/her/its rules.

I didn't say that pi ever had a different value. I'm claiming that pi
is a number and that numbers are an invention, a way to describe reality,
not reality itself.

>The Book of Absolute Truth has nothing to do with math nor language.
>Think of it as TT -- a property of Objective Reality.

If it has nothing to do with language then calling it a book is a
very misleading metaphor.

>>I can't think of any definitions of "utility" or "veracity" that
>>would make this statement true.
>If your only purpose here is to look smart, that's a good answer. It
>was *your* example with a map. When Jason follows it to prove his point
>you go to "trick mode". I am sure we all know what we are talking

I assure you it was an honest question. I can't imagine how veracity
can have no relation to utility. I can imagine specific cases where
a belief would have utility independent of its truth, but that isn't
what Jason claimed.

>>>I think that it is the opposite. The distinction is what is
>>>causing our difficulties in further discussion. As I said, I
>>>think we fundamentally agree, but the terminology is torpedoing
>>>our discussion. Without using terms like true and false, it is
>>>very awkward to discuss lots of topics, even in memetics.
>>Another straw man.
>You just did it David. It's not only the terminology which is
>torpedoing, it is the "trick mode" which our discussion was infected

Read what Jason said: "Without using terms like true and false, it is
very awkward to discuss lots of topics, even in memetics." Since I
agree and never said otherwise, his argument is a straw man. Why
call it a trick?

>>Nobody said that true and false don't exist
>>or aren't useful.
>You must have missed quite a few of Richard's posts!

I recall Richard saying that it isn't worthwhile worrying about what
is true and false. I didn't take that to mean that we should get rid
of the idea altogether or that there was no such thing.

>>KMO recently defined it quite rigorously as the conjunction of
>>all possible true statements (I think, correct me if I'm wrong).
>And you know this is not what Jason is talking about: it is not his
>leather cover book.

No I do not. Maybe you can explain what Jason meant.

>What do you think of TT?

I don't know what you mean by TT. If it is neither true nor false
how is it different from objective reality?

>Can we all come up with some mutually agreeable definition of this
>peculiar something we all know we are talking about?

You rejected my definition and my interpretation of Jason's so I
guess it is your turn to try.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus