Re: virus: Omnipresent Radio Station.

Martz (
Mon, 14 Apr 1997 11:46:17 +0100

On Sun, 13 Apr 1997, Tony Hindle <> wrote:
> I see. So you reckon that it is faith on my part that a
>decipherable component exists.

Yes. For what it's worth it's a faith I also share. We base a lot on our
assumptions. They may not be necessary but at the very least life would
be pretty difficult to manage without them (I can't see how it could be
done at all). As such, I'm quite happy to make them but I think it's
important that we realise what assumptions we each make so that they can
be quickly called into question if necessary. To apply that to this
situation; I assume that the semantic distance between what you're
trying to communicate and what I'm actually interpreting it as is
sufficiently small that we can, with a little effort, understand each
other well enough. It doesn't take much imagination to picture a
situation where that might not hold[1], even with the premise that we
are in fact both speaking the same language. What if we are actually
speaking two completely different languages but they both are
sufficiently similar in construct that they can be mistaken for each
other? That may sound an extreme circumstance but I would argue that
from a certain perspective that is exactly the case (see a thread from a
couple of months ago, I think between myself and Alex - maybe one of the
Rationality offshoots).

>Perhaps so. But the way I see it is that
>when our minds reach the edge of understanding for a given field of
>inquiry, they are able to postulate guesses and ways of testing them.
>Science always trys to guess one of two mutually exclusive possibilities
>and so the results of the testing will always move us further
>foreward/upward by a finite amount.

That's the way I see it too. But just try proving it.

[1] For example, you make a statement and I reply with 'Your right'.
That could be interpreted as '[it is] your right [to have that
opinion]', implying that I disagree with you whereas I might have meant
'You're right' - exactly the opposite.


For my public key, <> with 'Send public key' as subject an automated reply will follow.

No more random quotes.