virus: Manipulation 101

Reed Konsler (
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 19:00:43 -0500

>From: David Rosdeitcher <>
>Date: 23 Feb 97 00:12:36 EST
>Subject: virus: Re: Manipulation 101 Lesson 10

>Another example of not being detached from viruses: Reed wrote a great post
>entitled "The Greeks Would Be Geeks". The essence of this post was that you
>should not cling to the known terrain of anyone else's ideology or path,
>and to
>blaze your own trail into unknown territory. Within this post, there seemed to
>me to be an implication of a popular myth that "honest effort and individual
>accomplishment is worthless". (To quote myself) Examples include comments like
>"Objectivism will never overtake the net because objectivism died before
>the net
>was born." and a couple of statements that seemed to put down the work of
>Richard Dawkins. It was like the post was solid, but was infected at the same

"honest effort and individual accomplishment are worthless" is beginning to
sound like a broken record. As David M. has said, it is a "straw man". No
one here believes this. No one means to imply it. If you PERCIEVE it
within a statement then, as a critical reader, it is your responsibility to
try a little harder to figure out what the actual message is.

"Objectivism will never overtake the net because objectivism died before
the net was born." is a statement which should be taken in context. I
will, at the risk of boring people, remind you of the context:

>From Tuesday:

::Ideologies are stepping stones, not fortifications. James Burke
describes culture and history as an ::exploding sphere... meme-sphere if I
may be so bold. Plato is behind us, Aristotle is behind us...and ::yes,
David, Ayn Rand is behind us, too. Not that she wasn't brilliant, not that
she didn't contribute ::great ideas to the debate...but is there ever an
ABSOLUTE truth? Atlas Shrugged is plublished...and ::a published idea is
dead. The frontier is OUT THERE.

::Come on yourself say you love to tinker. You argue with the
Objectivists, you argue ::with Neo-techs, you argue with us. Take the
plunge...hack these obsolete philosophies (and I include ::Levels: and idea
published is an idea dead) to pieces and salvage the parts that
work...understanding ::is pieced together, on the fly, continuiously.

::The true thinker is the ultimate tinker...the thought is never
"finished", but rather "abandoned" (I ::forget who said this) for another
project. ***Objectivism will never overtake the net because ::Objectivism
died before the net was born***. Stop moving forward through the rear-view
mirror. ::Step beyond the ideological idols and take personal

:: don't mean you shouldn't quote Rand...please do, there is tons of good
stuff there. But don't present ::HER philosophy, present yours. Don't say
SHE thought, say I THINK. That is freedom. And that is ::what Richard
tries to approach in level 3.

I'm don't feel like dissecting the frog here. In context this statement
does not imply that "honest effort and individual accomplishment are
worthless" at is, in fact the antithesis of this implication; an
explicit prescription that the proper way to live life is honestly seek
enlightenment as an independent individual. Perhaps we just have a
difference in matter how many times you assert it I just
don't see that threadbare statement within my post.

The funny thing is, you take offense to the implication that Rand might not
have the "whole" answer and Tad gets pissed at what he percieved as a
denigration of Dawkins...but nobody complained that I actually said that
Richard B's vision is obsolete. Sensitive? Or is there an agenda
underneath this criticism?

It seems to me that you describe something as "infected" if it doesn't jive
with the way you see things. Speaking of Rand in any way other than
unreflective worship is an "infected" way of thinking while taking pot
shots at Richard B. is completely rational and objective. This is similar
to the hussle Tad tries to pull by insisting that we must make a "cold" or
"honest" look at matter how much it a prelude to
the injection of his personal opinion. You are both using adjectives with
positive or negative connotation as it suits your underlying agenda. Such
adjectives are completely subjective. Subjectivity doesn't render them
meaningless, just weak. Declaring "I will now speak honestly and
rationally" doesn't define subsequent is simply an

As I said before, for communication to be effective there must be some
common ground of trust, or else even simple statements like "I come in
peace" are misinterpreted.

The funnier thing is, you guys are the ones who are so paranoid about other
people manipulating the group? First strike, huh?


Reed Konsler