Re: virus: E-Dialectic

Eric Boyd (
Thu, 13 Jun 1996 00:43:49 -0500

John ''!Boolean'' Williams wrote:

> >I asked my dad about your message, and the first thing he pointed out
> >was your use of "persuassive rhetoric". Rhetoric is not a conversation,
> >it's a lecture.
> Ugh. I really didn't expect another definitions argument on this point. I
> don't know you your father is, so I can't say for sure his position isn't
> vaild. I can say that throughout my college career as an English student, I
> often heard rhetoric to be broadly defined as "word choice" and more
> narrowly defined as "communication for the explicit purpose of persuading."
> In this sense, rhetoric can be writing, or lecturing, or discussing. In
> many ways, what is going on here is a melding of all three, which is what
> interests me.

I agree completely, of course. We both knew what you meant (context
made it very clear) but he objected seriously to that particular word.
I'll let it pass. I know what you mean, and that's all that is
important in communication, right?

> >While I'm on level three discussions, how would one go about defending
> >the objection that, at heart, level three is about a call to
> >intellectual hypocracy? That the entire idea is to use any and all
> >paradyms /when they are useful/, and not because they are "right" or
> >"true" seems to me to be a really good way to justify saying that "I'm
> >not going to argue on your turf of rationality now because I think
> >reason is the wrong tool. Instead, I'm going to use [memetics, faith,
> >the flips of coins] and to talk with me you'll have to do the same."
> This is a good argument against post-structuralist thought. The response is
> usually, "oh! so now you feel the need to make an artifical standard by
> which to judge the world, just because you can't deal with uncertainty?"
> And the non-post-structuralist says "That's not what I meant."

Only that's not what I'd say. "Yes, that is what I meant. We need
/certainity/ here." And as I see it, certainity always involves an
absolute. Something that is /right/ always. For Christians, this is
usually God. Since God says theft is wrong, _it_is. No question. And
there is a great comfort in having such guaranties. A little power in
your corner.

> And the post-structuralist laughs cynicaly and buys himself another
> pitcher, because alchol and attitude is the best dodge to a difficult
> question.

A&A? hmmm. Not a "world view" that I think would be all that useful.
Enjoyable, maybe.

> Honestly, I think the post-structuralist position is less inaccurate than
> some (my opinion, of course), but ultimately empty. It's the nihilism
> predicted. I think what we need to do is, at some point, say "well, screw
> it. *I* think *this* is important, and no facts are going to get in the
> way." :-)
> That's what my older post - "death of logic," et all - was trying to start.
> How to we build something out of apparent nothing (or chaos), and rely on
> it to some degree, but keep aware that we don't *have* the truth? How does
> one have faith, without faith?

How, indeed? The answer lies in level 3 somewhere. But that's a damn
big country! I think a partial answer lies in consciousness... see my
big post.

> >it leads. Remember: memetics is just a tool. It is not reality, it is
> >just a /useful/ model of it.)
> Oh, NOW you're doing "useful models." I see.

I have been for awhile... just seeking your answers to the questions
that plague me!