Re: virus: Re: The saga continues!

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Sun, 14 Sep 1997 15:53:58 -0700 (PDT)

On Sun, 14 Sep 1997, Nathaniel Hall wrote:

> 1) That's ones a tough one. I'd be inclined to say the best measure
> would be how long after you die that other people remember you.

That would imply that a well-publicized mass murderer who died unloved and
miserable was vastly more successful than the person down the street who
pulled herself up from abject poverty to run a lucrative small business
and pass it on to her happy, well-adjusted children. I'm not sure that's
the measure we're looking for.
If we're trying to test the claims of adaptiveness that
philosophies make for themselves (is that what we're after?), then we
should look at the terms each one uses. If Objectivism claims that belief
in its axioms will lead to greater financial success, then testing the
financial success of Objectivists vs. non-Objectivists is to the point,
assuming one can figure out the right controls. If it claims to lead to
more accurate viewing of reality, perhaps the test should be to run
experiments in which Objectivists and non-Objectivists judge their degree
of control over a light bulb with a partially random control, as in the
research on optimism I mentioned recently.