Re: virus: Rationality

Tony Hindle (
Thu, 27 Feb 1997 01:25:17 +0000

Dave Pape wrote;
> My post thus boils down to "brains aren't
>logical, if they act 'rational'ly, then they're simulating, approximating,
>logical processing in a parallel and non-logical computing environment to do
I think I understand what you are saying here, but let me
check by attempting to translate. Are you saying that our
evolutionary shaped minds are not rational. Any rationality is
the result of "memetic software written on our irational
biological minds". If so I would agree.
It then follows that when we perceive someone to be
acting irrationaly, it is for one of two possible reasons (or
both) that we can conceptualy distinguish :
1) They have (profoundly?) different memetic software.
2) their biological brain is different (Broken?)

Here 1) refers to some one culturaly different, or a baby
(no memetic software). Note that for case 1) if we can know the
"irrational" person's memetic program we could attempt to
simulate it in our brains and if we got the same "output" (which
we surely would since we both posses the basic irrational
biology) we would not say they were irrational. In otherwords we
would say, "that is what I would do if I was in his/her
position." (if I knew nothing, had never seen light before, had
only ever heard my cosy mum's heartbeat and had just had my head
squashed to half its usual size. I would definately scream, shit
and piss myself.

2) refers to someone braindamaged, Psychotic say.

I think the following might make sense in a strange,
circular bootstrapping way:

The purpose to which we all apply our "rationality" is to
maximise our contentment.
Our "contentment" is that which we use our rationality to

Sorry if this sounds a bit Zen but I think it conveys a
starting point. Once we have got a bit of rationality we can use
it to reprogram our memetic software to increase our rationality
thereby increasing our contentment.
Let me give a concrete example;
You are asked to walk across a 12 inch wide stripe about ten
metres long. First the stripe is just painted on the floor and I
think the task would be easy. Then it is a sturdy (12 inch wide)
plank beneath which is an alligator pool. This task would be more
difficult. I hope we can agree in this case our mind/bodies would
be acting irrationally. Given time however,we would be able to
re-program our memetic software to overcome this irrationality.
Actually I could have taken this example from any event
where nerves reduce performance (e.g. snooker competition,
performing stand-up comedy)
If this makes no sense Dave, just take a big toke and
read it again 8).

Tony Hindle.