Re: virus: Altruism, Empathy, the Superorganism, and the Prisoner's Dillema

Martz (
Sat, 19 Apr 1997 09:54:47 +0100

On Fri, 18 Apr 1997, "D. H. Rosdeitcher" <>
>Robin wrote:
>>Sorry, that's not altruism.

<snip definition>

>By saying, "that's not altruism", Robin implies that he understood what Reed
>meant by the term 'altruism'.

Is he? In that case *you* are implying that you know what Robin meant by
"that's not altruism".

>But, he takes the word back out of context in
>order to present the impression that the word has intrinsic meaning apart from
>its context.

It seems to me that what he was saying was "we're obviously using this
term very differently. In order to come to an understanding we must take
something as a starting point from which to work. How about Websters?".
I don't know about you David but when it comes down to finding a common
ground regarding a definition of a word I reach straight for the
dictionary. Just as if I want to find a plumber I pick up the yellow
pages. OK, I must ascribe my own context - it's just a series of numbers
unless I need a plumber and know it's the phone number for one - but
where else would I start? That's a genuine question. Applied to the
discussion between Robin and Reed how would *you* approach it?

>This is how Buddhism survives as an ideology--through people being
>stuck in a non-contextual thinking mode as exemplified by James, the other kind
>of Buddhist, who wrote:
>> "Not only is greed self-defeating in
>>the long run, altruism makes better neighbors and ultimately greater
>>personal fulfillment."?
> if concepts such as greed and altruism have meanings apart from context.
> --David Rosdeitcher

By the way, didn't you complain quite loudly recently about people
attacking your memes instead of your ideas? Haven't you just done the
same thing? I meant to point out at the time that what was happening in
at least some of those instances was that people were attacking your
premises without regard to your conclusions. That's perfectly valid, for
until the premises have been accepted the conclusion is unsupported.


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

No more random quotes.