Re: virus: Original Thoughts

John ''I Take Large Steps'' Williams (
Fri, 20 Jun 1997 20:23:02 -0400

At 07:09 PM 6/19/97 -0500, Corey Cook wrote:

>I have had the occasion to read some of the archives,
>and am pleased to see that worthwhile discussions are
>going on at Virus.

I think it's one of the most interesting mailing lists I've ever
participated in.

>I would like to point out that none
>of the definition-arguements have ever lead to greater
>understanding, a possible reason to cease them.

Hmm... well, considering that words are all we have, and that we don't all
speak quite the same language, it could be argued that definition-arguments
are absolutely necissery, if not the *only* thing we can talk about. We may
not agree; and we might lose our tempers occasionally, but at least we come
away from a definition-discussion with a greater appreciation of, and
understanding of, a multitude of positions that may not have occured to us
before. Whether we accept another's definitions as "appropriate" or not.

Too, defining words helps us to focus our thinking; this is why some of us
bat ideas around here: to check our personal definitions against the
memespaces of others. Self-checks on these sorts of things are notoriously

>There is one thing that I have grown interested in, and
>that is the idea of Original Thoughts. What is the
>consensous at Virus? Do we have Original Thoughts, or
>is it just rearranging things that we have heard before?

I don't believe in something from nothing (despite my religion). I don't
believe that creativity takes place in a vacuum. I think that
original/creative thinking means putting things together in a novel
fashion, and I certainly wouldn't pre-pend the word "just" to that.
"Rearranging" things can be mundane, but it can also be quite interesting.
Saying that (for example) Shakespeare just re-arranged things he heard
before is kind of like saying that Einstien just did some math.

>Consider the implications before stating your opinion.

I assume you have mapped some implications? Share with us!

>Has anyone done concrete research on this?

Ooooo. What do you mean by "concrete?" >:)

>* The One Universal Truth: *
>* Sometimes, you're wrong. *

Maybe *you* are. :-)

John Williams ICQ Address: 1213689
"See my loafers? Former gophers!"
Various Artists: Raising the Tide of Mediocrity for Two Years