RE: virus: MS Weapon

Robin Faichney (
Thu, 2 Oct 1997 10:41:27 +0100

> From: tom.holz[]
> There is a phenomenon that this might be an example of, but I don't
> know
> what to call it, so here's an example I hope someone will
> understand/translate/identify for me:
> The "internal/soft" and "external/hard" martial arts are very
> different
> (ie. Tai Chi versus Karate), but when you explain internal principles
> of
> power/force generation in a way that makes them appealing, some
> externalists will say, "Oh, yeah, we do that too" and offer a short
> "logical" rationalization, when in they actually don't understand.
The "externalist" looks *very* like an objectivist to
me. Rationalization is always preferred to empathic,
imaginative understanding. I'm hoping there will be
fewer such people around when the functions of
empathy, imagination, intuition etc are better
understood -- even though you don't have to know
how they work to make very good use of them.

Here's a prediction, though it may be self-falsifying:
objectivists will typically rationalize their overly
analytical tendencies by saying things like, well, OK,
you *can* use such functions without knowing how
they work, but isn't it obvious that you'd be able to
use them much *better* if you did? Thus putting
knowledge before skill, and ignoring the necessarily
co-evolutionary development of such functions
with all the others that make up our total
functionality, ie that they "were designed" to
operate *without* any understanding of their
working. Intellectual knowledge is often -- though
obviously not always -- redundant.

Ever hear about the centipede that tried to work
out in what order its legs moved? Never walked
again! I'm not saying we should be so
pessimistic as to assume that intellectual
inquiry will always compromise skillful action,
but we should recognise that it can do so, and
that it often will neither help nor hinder.

On the other hand, if you really need to know
that intuition is merely the result of unconscious
thinking, and neither the voice of God nor some
absolutely random piece of meaninglessness,
before being able to put some trust in it -- who
am I to judge? :-)