virus: truth, science, and the American way

Reed Konsler (
Sat, 5 Apr 1997 16:53:43 -0500 (EST)

>From: "D. H. Rosdeitcher" <>
>Date: 04 Apr 97 11:56:05 EST

>Reed wrote:
>> David R. was,
>>in my opinion, communicating the meme "don't trust people who's ideas come
>>from sources, as they are corrupt [anti-objectivist]".
>> Given this is
>>a mailing list, and it is currently not possible to create your own
>>personal address
>>ending (ie you can be -com, -org, -gov, -edu, etc. and can't just choose
>>one at
>>random) this amounts to a sort of internet-racism.
>I was just stating a tendency. I wasn't putting down specific individuals for
>having "edu" in their e-mail addresses. It's like if some races have higher
>crime rates than others, this doesn't mean anything about specific

I don't even agree that the correlation you assert exists is real. There
is no more
bullshit from .edu sources than from anywhere else. You have no evidence, but
instead have made a irresponsibly wild assertion that could have all kind of
damaging consequences down the line. You are creating false categories and then
trying to use them to define arguments you disagree with as "invalid".

I don't think you really intended to do this, did you? I often fall into
paradoxes. It takes a lot of effort to try to weed manipulation out from the
message one is trying to communicate. Which is why, as an aside, I find it so
infuriating when people talk about intentionally trying to deceptively
people into buying "their" memes. Even in absolute ernest, which I percieve
myself to be, I have trouble communicating my ideas eloquently but not
manipulatively. It's a constant struggle.

>>So why not try to change the institutions that already exist?
>You mean like using institutions that already exist in a different way--like
>turning them into amusement parks? I guess there are all kinds of ways to use
>that space.

Sure, in principle. David, have you had a bad experience with academic
I'm not arguing they are superior to anything or neccesary to anything. I
have my
biases. I liked college a lot. I like graduate school a lot. On the
other hand, I
haven't had the average university experience. I searched a number of
subjects before
I found something that seemed "real" to me.

I agree with you, a lot of the intellectualism of the university is so much
hot air.
That's why I chose to be a chemist...I like working with my hands, creating
feeling and smelling and seeing them (tasting is a no no these days). I really
enjoy the substance of reality. It's hard to communicate the passion I have
for physical would really have to try it for a while. It's like
getting to play with blocks, and play-doh all your life. I have a sense
for gravity,
for the motion of liquids, for the qualities of glass and pyrex...I've
never been
a very graceful person but this is my science and my art. I love it like a
loves the feel of clay...and like the mathematician loves the curve of the sine.

I love the academic passion for the inefficient; the freedom to speclate wildly;
the childlike glee of a new toy, a new model. Should we grow up? Never. WE
CARRY OUR WEIGHT. If you can't accept that intellecual capital...I mean real
and physical generated in the university then explain to me what
all the
patent lawyers are doing around here.

It isn't an objectivist capitalist machine...and like any institution it
has grown to
serve it's own hierarchy instead of it's ideological purpose. But just as
I won't
support retracting the Constitution becuase of the abuses of federalism I won't
support the distruction of The University becuase of it's abuses. The American
university system is one of the great cultural experiments in intellecual
not, as you seem to imply, in intellectual stagnation.

I mean freedom from the tyranny of the majority; from the "free-market" tyranny
of efficiency, productivity, and consumption. It isn't perfect, and you're's
getting too damn expensive.

Suggest changes. Create alternatives. I'm interested in a fellow
traveller and I
really want to hear your constructive criticisms...but why must you tear down
everyone else's passion to satiate your own? Is this really for "my own good",
or for yours?

>As Jim G. once said, "your sweeping use of the word 'is' really weakens your

I like E-prime, too.


Reed Konsler