virus: Re: Level 3

Ken Pantheists (
Mon, 11 Nov 1996 01:09:07 +0000

David Leeper wrote:

Are you saying that the so-called "Level 3" is a union of the last
3 rows on the table? If this is so, how do you reconcile the often
nihilist "Post-Modern Thought" with "Having a Purpose"? Or, on the
otherhand, is the so-called "Level 3" like Hinduism, possessing a
definition so broad that it is bound to contain some truth?

I suppose I am.

I realize, that in order to stay consistent with my arguement, I am
going to have to say that there _is_ apparent contradiction in the last
three rows of the table, but only because that has been constructed by

The often nihilist Post Modern thought you refer to must be in reference
to one Post Modern thought. Or one Nihilist thinker.

My experience with P.M. criticism, limited as it is, has lead me believe
that there is never "no purpose". The nihilism *you* perceive is freedom
for another. The unlocking of narratives (or as the trendy PMers like to
say, "discourses") may disenfranchise you of the truth, but only if you
were empowered by it to begin with. Far from being nihilistic, this
level of inquiry enables people to analyze how our "texts" beget

Sorry for the trendy language.

Your table is good. It expresses your point of view.

I do not have a table. Does that make me wrong, or you more right than

David Leeper:
I do object to defining something with hazy or invalid definitions,
asking money for it, and refering to those who disagree as "Chimps"

ME: I honestly think you are putting words in people's mouths. You are
loading the metaphor with things that were likely not meant. If Richard
were comparing 4 wheel drives to VW bugs would you be offended if he
said the VW is more likely to negotiate an incline by going *backwards*?

David Leeper:
Social Reasoning accepts the types of arguments that Logic rejects.
Examples: Personal attacks, appeals to power or charisma, democracy.

Social Reasoning rejects the types of arguments that Logic accepts.
Example: Logic, math, et. al. seen as boring, deceptive and out of
touch with one's day to day life.

Thank you for posting this from a previous post. I came into this thread

Again, I feel compelled to point out the high level of construction in
your statement. Do you see that it is necessarily contrary? I would say,
what is the difference between social reasoning and logical reasoning?
Who invented these? Are they still useful terms? I often have problems
with the idea of conscious and subconcious. What did people do before
freud? Heavens, they walked around with one brain instead of three. What
need did freud's idea of a subconcious fill?

My personal belief (not informed by hard study, just opinion) is that it
enabled him to explain why so many young women were being sexually
abused in their own homes in an environment of repression without coming
out and saying, "these women were abused". Even if he wasn't doing this
per se, freud's idea became a release valve for victorian sexuality.

But that's a digression.

Back to your idea of social and logical reasoning.

Let's just throw this into the memetics blender (the memetomatic?).
Whirrr.... Whether it is socail or logical, it's still just a meme.

They become useful because they are logical _and_ social.

Take a look at the term Black Hole. A totally abstract, mathematical
expression that took off like wildfire as a meme because, suddenly we
had a metaphor for certain economies, certain people, certain things in
our lives.

David Leeper:
But if you present some term and say "It's a dog", then later you
say "It's a rock" and then later say "It's a mathematical formula" you
_are_ contradicting yourself.

In that particular case, I absolutely would be. But dogs and rocks are
things and mathematical formulas are languages.

Some people would say that democracy is a thing. And in defining it
they would contradict themselves many times. Yet it does not prevent
them from using it as a meme.

I think democracy is beyond thingness, even beyond being a language--
its memeness, however, allows us to grab a chunk of it by the tail and
actually talk about it. See how it is _used_. Like level 3.

Now, if you are *really* concerned about the existence of level three. I
would caution you to analyse how real it is for *you*... real enough to
make you hate it, real enough to make you feel slighted, real enough to
make you compete in debunking it.

If it were a painting, you have spent a lot of time painting the
negative space. Which only helps define it in the long run.

I have never met Richard... I admire his work, and I think he his a sly

He is using a super powered meme on you.

Whether you agree with level three or not, level three is using you.

Ken Pantheists                   
Virus Theatre         
TooBa Physical Theatre Centre