Re: virus: Re: level 3

David McFadzean (
Thu, 14 Nov 1996 17:49:49 -0700

At 01:40 AM 14/11/96 +0000, Ken Pantheists wrote:

>But, as I see myself walking into an old conversation I had with nearly
>everyone nailing me as a "cultural relativist", level seventeen is only
>unbelievable because there are enough levitation antibodies out in our
>culture to imperil its survival.

Anti-bodies like "laws of physics" and "standards of evidence"?

>But the X-files is real. It is a culturally shared experience. It
>informs our world view. It is an expression of our culture.

I said the subject matter of the X-files (meaning alien abductions,
vampires, reincarnation, monsters, etc.) are fictional. The memes
exist, certainly, but not the referents.

>Culture is nothing more than layers and layers of stories.


>I am saying that the meme had no reference to anything in reality until
>Columbus actually set his foot on the soil of the Americas.
>(Lucky for him that the world actually *was* round, good guess, eh?)
>The flat world meme was rendered useless at that specific point.
>Give up! :) You can't be a Truth Believer Dave! :) You only live in a
>flat world because you were born, coincidentally, after the extinction
>of the meme.

I'm not a Truth Believer. But I do believe in objective reality.
I think there is a fact of the matter about the roundness of the
world independent of humans and their culture.

>Do you remember in the old days when the first victims of AIDS actually
>died of Gay Cancer?

If you were consistent you would have to say that the first victims
of Gay Cancer didn't die of AIDS because that concept wasn't invented
yet. Is that your point?

[Columbus stuff snipped]

>Now, the reason I mention this is because I think it is very easy to,
>after discovering or proving that the earth is indeed round to say, oh,
>well it is always round, weren't we stupid then? -- and forget that the
>world, as it exists in the mind of mankind (and I honestly believe it
>can't *really* exist anywhere else) as a flat world.

Well that's where we disagree. If you honestly believe the world exists
only in the mind of mankind you don't believe in an objective reality.
Or maybe we aren't talking about the same "world".

>But, in my point of view, technology and science are culturally
>informed. Therefore our view of objective reality is culturally

I agree, which is why I no longer believe in Absolute Truth. But
it was more of a change in attitude toward our view of objective
reality, not objective reality itself.

>I am restraining myself from citing all kinds of situations where
>objective truth is used in damaging and inherently false ways.

Good thing, because I probably would have agreed with you anyway.
(Not that agreement is a bad :-)

[I'll be away from e-mail til Tuesday. "See" you all next week.]

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus