virus: Belief and Knowledge

Reed Konsler (
Fri, 11 Jul 1997 10:24:49 -0400 (EDT)

>Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 10:54:44 -0700
>From: Richard Brodie <>
>I don't know what "recorded history" you've been reading, but there are
>plenty of books describing supernatural powers. Try the Bible,
>Castaneda, or the Celestine Prophecy for starters.
>You will say that those are unverified and unscientific. True. But you
>believe what you consider verified and scientific simply because you
>have faith in the mechanism that transmits that information to you. You
>believe in the truthfulness of the scientists, editors, publishers who
>form a web of agreement around what we call the scientific body of
>knowledge in exactly the same way that a Christian believes in the
>truthfulness of his own web of agreement.
>Do you think there could be any truth, or anything useful, that slips
>through that web?

Sure. But who cares? Have you seen MIB? Very funny. If something
is generally experinenced it gets into the media. The media is also full
of shit becuase, in general, that's what people like. One needs to get
experienced filtering out the shit. This process is refered to as "critical
thinking" and is the basis of science.

I agree with you that to sneer at mystics and laugh at alternative ways
of knowing things is silly and limiting. One has to have an open mind.
However, it is (IMHO) perfectly reasonable to ask a person, once you
have tried to see things their way, to help you out.

If they can't, or if (as often happens) they get defensive at this earnest
questioning...then you just have to say "peace brother" and go about
your business. Live and let live...becuase often you just don't have time
to reach consensus and until you do, who is "right" is arbitrary.

Either we are all right, or no of us are.

On the other hand, you have to stand up (civily) for what you believe.
One shoudn't feel helpless in the face of the cultural juggernaut...if
you are right then there really is a "silent majority" waiting to back
the message. It's hard work; you have to choose your battles carefully
and accept the consequences of your actions joyously.

Sometimes people lie to you. Sometimes there are conspiracies of
silence. Our cultural filters aren't very effective. So what? If you
don't like living you have the option of checking out. If you don't
like fear and loathing we have drugs (prescription and illegal) to
help you out of your mind. It is the poor muscian that blames the

To bitch for a small moment: Sometimes I wish everyone (including
myself: guilty as charged) would stop whining. Everyone thinks they're
Job. In the end, whatever burden is yours to carry, you just gotta deal.

There is no alternative.

I'll try on your memes for size. But I don't believe without evidence.
And I set the standards of evidence, if we're convincing me.


[Actually, I'm sure Richard knows all this...I'm just making the next play
in the game. Is everyone entertained?]

Reed Konsler