RE: virus: MS Weapon

Robin Faichney (
Sun, 5 Oct 1997 10:20:47 +0100

> From: David McFadzean[]
> At 10:12 AM 10/4/97 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:
> >I have to back Tim up on this one: what kind of light
> >casts shadows of objects that don't exist? Nothing
> >comes out of nothing. By your own creed, such
> >shadows must have *some* cause, even though it's
> >not the object you might first suppose. Seems to
> Incorrect interpretation. Where do you suppose the
> ether, elan vital, ESP and other wrong ideas came from?
That's precisely what I'm asking: where did they come
from? Nothing comes out of nothing. Some of the
ideas that we now view as simply "wrong" were wrong-
headed even in their own day, but many more were
genuinely the best guesses that people could make at
the time. Do you really think that none of the ideas we
presently view as simply "right" will be disproven in the
future? That doesn't make it wrong for us to hold these
ideas now, and in fact it may be the case that we could
not develop better ones, without the use of these
imperfect ones as stepping stones.

But even regarding those that ideas that are wrong-
headed at the time: why do wrong-headed ideas come
to be widely accepted? Because most people are
stupid, or because there are psychological and
sociological factors here worth investigating?
*Especially* for memeticists, because the spread of
memes, their acceptance and onward transmission
for reasons other than their intrinsic rationality, is
precisely what memetics is all about, is it not?

(Well, not quite what it's *all* about, because when
someone accepts and retransmits an idea saying
they do so because it's rational, that falls under
memetics too -- or do you disagree?)

> >Do you think maybe that you just prefer the
> >physical sciences to such as psychology, due to
> >the "softness" (ie complexity) of the latter?
> Actually I don't prefer the physical sciences.
The reason I suggested you might was because
you seem, in this context anyway, to have no
interest in minds, and why they do the things
they do, only in what's "out there".