RE: virus: C of V: Another Religion

David Rosdeitcher (
30 Jan 97 23:14:33 EST

Hi. I've been getting a variety of responses from my post entitled: C of V:
Another Religion. This is a very active and interesting list and I'd like to
reply to the feedback I got so far.
This post will show:
1.The problem with all attempts so far to refute Rand's axioms.
2. Why the concept of 'things are what they are' is not only a useful concept
but is necessary and valuable.
3. Why the philosophy of objectivism will ultimately dominate cyberspace
Darwinian natural selection.
When I made the suggestion that the CoV is like a religion in which memes
are a higher power, some people (ie Dave M, and Gay) explained that just
memes are an influence doesn't mean people are slaves to them. And, that it
is a
good concept to use in order to understand the spread of ideas and behaviors.
This I agree with.
However, others seemed to imply that memes do, in fact, control
individuals, as if it were a higher power. These people, in response to my
explanation of why this contradicts Rand's irrutable axioms, decided to attack
the axioms.
Attacking Rand's axioms cannot work. For instance, the notion that
there is
an external reality out there was implied by all who attacked this notion.
R dismissed this idea while implicitly stating "there's this guy out there
taking axioms as absolute when they're not". Similarly, Richard B dismissed
'existence' as a 'meme distinction' while making an implicit claim that
"there's a situation out there where someone is treating 'distinction memes'
like it's not just an invention of the mind". A few other people made the same
mistake of refuting their own statements.
Vicki made an interesting point that axioms can change, depending on
context. And, she gave an good example of how Euclidean geometry has different
axioms than the new and improved non-Euclidean geometry. However, this
change of
axioms does not apply to philosophy because in philosophy there is only 1
context -the context of existence and human knowledge. (I think Bertrand
made a similar mistake of "creating his own logic" because it was
possible to start out with different assertions.)
Tim R. made, in my opinion, a great attempt to attack the
axioms-particularly, the notion that "things are what they are" or "A is
A", by
acting like a human contradiction. First he says the post isn't worth
to but he responded anyway. Then, first he argued that there is no free
will and
then he argued that there is free will. He took a position that 'A is not
A' and
then dramatized it.
Richard made an argument that free will is not necessary to try to improve
yourself and gave an example that Windows '95 has programs that correct its
mistakes. The problem with this argument is- who activates the programs,
and who
activates the activators-it is an infinite regression that must come down to
individual free will.
Why are these axioms like 'things are what they are' important and
does this have to do with memetics? In a nutshell, if you understand that
are no contradictions, then you can identify and eliminate 'good memes'
that are
bad or false. Furthermore, this would make it possible to know when certain
dishonest people manipulate others through 'good memes'.
Objectivism will dominate cyberspace through natural selection. Most
will acknowledge when something is logically true or false, (like Thadeusz who
pointed out that the 'distinction-meme' idea was self-refuting and Dan P who
showed why axioms are valid.) Also, when hoaxes are exposed, people won't
to them. In cyberspace, irrationality gets busted.