Re: virus: Re: Social Metaphysics

David McFadzean (
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 12:41:49 -0600

At 01:41 PM 9/26/97 -0400, Paul Prestopnik wrote:
>> From: David McFadzean <>

>> How many words have a single meaning? I would guess none.
>how about defenestration? or liter?

Defenstration could be taken literally or metaphorically.
Liter has 2 definitions in my dictionary. Even if you could
find a word which seems to have only one definition, I bet
it has different connotations for different people.

>> I think people are a lot more adaptable then you give them
>> credit for.
>but I am not disagreeing with your basic premise. Natural language is an
>extremely complex problem, and it is amazing how well people are able to
>comprehend and disambiguate language. But in establishing a scientific
>language it is important to try and limit ambiguities as much is possible.

Agreed, that is why I've gone through great pains to explicitly define
the words that I use in unorthodox senses, like "church", "faith",
"rational", etc. Sadly it doesn't seem to help for longer than a day
or two.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus