Re: virus: Social Metaphysics

David McFadzean (
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 10:08:29 -0600

At 08:52 AM 9/24/97 -0400, Reed Konsler wrote:

>If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to around to hear it, does
>it make a sound? That isn't intended to be obtuse, the koan is a precise isomorph

No it does not make a sound. It does make compression waves in the atmosphere,
but "sound" only happens when an observer with hearing perceives those compression
waves (and sometimes when there are no compression waves: "ringing in the ears").

>What do you mean by "exist"? How do you determine the existence of something?
>Our observations of the universe imply that it had a history prior to the
>arrival of homo-sapiens. What was the skin color of a T-Rex? Purple?

The question of how someone would know about the existence of something is
epistemological and therefore orthogonal to the question of whether something
exists. To confuse the two is a well-know logical fallacy.

The color of the skin of a T-Rex can theoretically be determined by finding
out what wave lengths of light it reflected and figuring out how someone with
normal vision would perceive that light. If that information is irretrievably
lost it does not mean that the T-Rex had colorless skin.

>>From my perspective:
>You are making the assumption that there is some underlying substrate of
>perception called "reality". It is, however, impossible to independently verify the

I am assuming that subjective reality is a perception of the interaction between
subject and object (where sometimes the object is the subject).

>existence of this supposed material outside of perception. "Reality" is derived from
>perception, not the reverse. If you like, the two are inextricably intertwined. While

No, only *subjective* reality is derived from the perception. Dropping the qualifier
only adds to the confusion..

>I am willing to call such a viewpoint "subjective" I'm not certian why you insist on
>equating "subjective" and "inconsistent". In fact, I'm not sure what you find so
>distasteful about "subjective".

You are the one that said subjective reality is inconsistent:

"Is Implied Reality consistent?

Certianly not between different people. Implied Reality is subjective and
different people have different and incommesurate Implied Realities."

>What is wrong with subjectivity, anyway?

Absolutely nothing. It is all I ever experience! :) I am just trying to keep
the discussion focussed on the original topic which is objective reality.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus