Re: virus: God and Level-3

Tony Hindle (
Mon, 31 Mar 1997 08:31:38 +0100

In message <>, David
McFadzean <> writes
>At 10:35 PM 30/03/97 +0100, Tony Hindle wrote:
> Ok. The true maximum equals 0.9*subject's belief.
>>>Doesn't that break down for totally unrealistic beliefs?
>> Yes. Try this
>> True maximum equals f(subject's belief).
>OK, pretend that you graph the function, the subject's belief
>of maximum achievable goals on the x-axis vs. actual goals
>achieved on the y axis. There has to be a true maximum y
>value somewhere on that graph. That is what I'm asking for.
>Just pick a number, it doesn't matter what it is.
Ok here's my thinking. The graph has at least two
confabulating subfunctions. One component is a continuously raising
from left to right relationship. (call it the power of positive
thinking.) the other falls from left to right because of
experiencing a feedback process. The feedback process is the
subject's RATIONAL tendency to adjust their belief level to match
their observed achievements. (This process is great for rewarding
true "initial achievers" into spiralling success, initially they
are surprised how well they have done). If your rational tendencies
are really well tuned (as I consider mine and yours to be) and you
begin with a lower than expected success rate then you are logicaly
going to reduce your belief this is the essence of rationality. In
the simplest relation
"your [no. of beliefs held]{x} would depend on [no.
achieved]{y} minus discrepancy.
discrepancy equals [no. of beliefs held]{x} minus [no.

so x=y - (x-y).
This cant be right. It suggests to me that the
maximum is as far right as one can go.
Ok I think I can see it now. All points on the st. line
are RATIONAL (belief of success rate=success rate) positions. Only
deviations below or above y=x represent an inacurate (irrational)
position. Its like a thermostat having many power settings at which
it can stabilise for a unique temperature, depending on heat loss).
So wherever we are now on our y=x line it is totally irrational to
move off it. However I think depression is an irrational downwards
shift that snowballs. And a similar irrational self belief can
cause a snowballing upward effect.
I see small deliberate self deceits as a way of moving
further from left to right. You asked me to pick a number where the
graph is at maximum I think it is a continuously rising function
from left to right.

Prof tim wrote:
>I think Tony is trying to make the point here, that the maximum achievable
>is dependent upon the maximum /believed/ achievable. That what subjects
>A, B, C, & D think they can achieve is an element in the formula for
>computing how much they actually can achieve.
Yes and I am trying to convince primerily myself this point
is true. I am trying to infect myself with belief in this meme, I
can still see its madness but I want to believe it some more.

Also Prof Tim.
> This makes me want to ask you this hypothetical question.
>>If it were True that adjusting your context, even if it didnt match
>>reality, caused you to have a better experience of life, caused you
>>to feel better..... would you?
>Not unless it made me more effective at pursuing my primary goals.

>What are your "primary goals" if not "feeling better"? And remember, no
>matter what you say, the next question is, "And why is that something you
>want to achieve if it has no payoff (doesn't make you "feel better" about
>yourself or your place in the world) for you?"
I think these paragraphs pulls all 3 of our positions
together doesnt it?

Tony Hindle.