Re: virus: a tangent

Dan Plante (
Fri, 21 Mar 1997 01:21:31 -0800

At 11:54 PM 3/19/97 -0800, Prof. Tim wrote:
>On Wed, 19 Mar 1997, Dan Plante wrote:
>> >A fluid, chaotic, and unstable
>> >system can support a greater degree of complexity than a static system.
>> Possibly. But what does that have to do with the essence of the post?
>> The wording and tone of your response seems to indicate an inordinate
>> emotional investment in a particular aesthetic. This can have the effect
>> of imposing value judgements inappropriately, which is a serious
>> impediment to efficient communication.
>"Inordinate?" Yes, perhaps. I find people with static mindsets tend to
>be less dynamic and are seldom able to adapt to novel situations. Maybe
>it was the choice of words "static" and "stable" that bothered me. I
>don't see thought patterns such as Zen as "static" in any way, shape or
>form. Quite the opposite, I think.

Analogy and metaphor are powerful tools, but I seem to wield them poorly.
Let me try parable:

Master: Attend to the teachings, young one, and one day you too may
reach enlightenment.

Student: Yes master. Master, who is that old man over there playing
hop-scotch with the village children?

Master: The previous Grand Master.

Student: Previous? What happened?

Master: He became set in his ways, and his thoughts. All the teachings,
all the meditation and tribulation, all the wisdom embodied in
all the world's disciplines could not help him. His way of
thinking had become static. Beware his example.

Student: And what is this way of thinking which binds him?

Master: Ask him, and his response is always the same: "To reinvent
myself every morning; to take my 'self' apart every night and
examine the result, that I may know myself (and others)
as well as like to think I do, and be my own master. To be a
child inside, that I may view the world, its parts and its
whole, with the wonder it deserves. To be on the move often;
physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, so that
things don't grow on, or in me. To roll with the punches if
I can't duck fast enough. To be open to new ideas and points
of view; they are the oil that keeps me from seizing up. To
expose these ideas to the same scrutiny I impose on my 'self',
for once exposed to them, they /are/ me."

Student: And this is a mindset which is /static/?

Master: Of course. He hasn't changed this mindset one iota in 30 years.

Student: Oh. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

initial conditions = data (conception)
control of data = information (conception to puberty)
control of information = knowledge (puberty to marriage)
control of knowledge = wisdom (marriage to divorce)