RE: virus: MS Weapon

Robin Faichney (
Mon, 6 Oct 1997 10:18:03 +0100

> From: David McFadzean[]
> At 10:20 AM 10/5/97 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:
> >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
> I think that is a very interesting line of inquiry,
> but it only makes sense in the context of there being
> some truth to the matter of whether an idea is
> wrong-headed or not. I thought I was still trying
> to get consensus on that point before moving on to
> the more interesting discussions.
OK. Is there some truth to the matter of whether an idea is
> wrong-headed or not? Easy answer: depends on the
context. In many contexts, including that of maximal
rationality, there certainly is truth to that matter. In others,
there is not, because you need some way of judging,
which you don't always have. For instance, where an
issue is entirely a matter of taste, "wrong-headed"
means nothing. In the general, context-free case, there
is no way of judging, and so "wrong-headed" is
meaningless there too.

Any argument with that? :-)

> I'm just
> trying to get agreement that there exists an "out
> there" first. (Richard's last message implied that
> there wasn't.)
I say that's also context-dependent. For most or all
practical purposes, it is obvious (I think) that we do
all believe in "out there". But in more strict terms,
I've never seen "out there" sufficiently well defined
for the question to be decided. Perhaps those who
insist in *absolute* terms that there is an "out
there", could focus on defining it. That might be a
step in the right direction, anyway.

Like I said recently, you have to acknowledge the
practice/theory dichotomy, giving each its due.