Re: virus: Rationality

Alex Williams (
Sun, 2 Mar 1997 20:42:48 -0500 (EST)

> > > I didn't ask if you know with certainty. I'm asking if it is a reasonable
> > > assumption. Hint: the fact that you are responding coherently implies
> > > that you do whether you admit it or not.
> >
> > Here we have an example of the failure of the protocol: you're making
> > an assumption I both do not agree with and had no intent to admit to.
> If you agreed with me, you could have said so. Instead you answered
> a different question.

Except I disagreed. And most vociferously, at that. I do not think
that /you/ are receiving the same exact memes that /I/ intend to evoke
with this bit of English. It is quite likely to be `pretty close,'
even more likely to be `good enough' for the most part, but its not
perfect replication and, as we move past each others' memespheres, the
memes you spawn are likely to have widely variant spawn.

> I don't believe you. If you really thought that, then you wouldn't
> waste time having these discussions. (Sort of like someone trying to
> convince you that you are a figment of their imagination, they undermine
> their own position merely by participating.)

You're making a lot of assumptions here. That I'm not a masochist, or
delusioned, or simply pursuing it for my own sake, not to communicate
anything meaningfull at all. All of the above apply to both
situations, perversely. For the same reasons you can't actually know
the contents of my memesphere, you can never, fully, understand my
motives and aims.

> My interpretation hasn't changed since I first read it. In order for
> you to show that my interpretation has a /significant/ (your word)
> difference than the intended meaning, you must show that my response
> to it is incoherent from your perspective. I don't think you can do
> that (but you're welcome to try) since your responses to my messages
> are in fact coherent, which means that there is a vanishingly small
> probability that there are significant differences in the copies of
> memes.

YOUR interpretation may not have changed, but we still don't have
assurance its the same as my intent. In fact, from the ensuing
discussion, I feel pretty certain from your evidenced behaviours that
what I intended to convey is not what you're operating with ... of
course, that assumes that your intent is to react based on those
spawned memes ... if, in fact, the spawned memes are very close to my
intent but for some reason or another you're deliberately reacting
differently ...

> There is a difference between constantly keeping it in mind, and
> constantly bringing it up in every discussion.

Look at it this way ...

At least I'm not trying to get you to buy my book and /pay/ me for my