Re: virus: Re:MS Flip Software Price

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Mon, 06 Oct 1997 14:57:10 -0700

David R. wrote:
>Tad--Your theory about MS Flip seems inconsistent, even from an Objectivist
>oriented point of view. If we accept the axiom that our conscious ability
>to reason is valid, then it follows that no one can construct a virus which
>can over-power our ability to reason. How do you reconsile the axiomatic
>acceptance of conscious reasoning with the possibility that a virus can get
>engineered to wipe out reasoning?

If we, in fact, could not override our ability to reason -- you are right --
we would not be able to be inconsistent. The heart of the MS Flip Software
is that we *can* be inconsistent at will. To quote my favourite MS Flip Guru:

"What people are trying to do, David, is show you that the Level-3 mind HAS
no fixed position -- just useful models that may be flipped among at will."

I have a romantic story to illustrate how this flip ability ("flippability"
seems like a nice new word :-) ) may look in real life.

I know Ben, a handsome and bright street-performer in his early thirties and
Alice, a pretty PhD mathematician teaching at a university, in her late
twenties. They are both single. I was corresponding with both of them and
one day I thought it would not be a bad idea to let them know each other.
They exchanged photographs and went into a series of letters. She lives in
Los Angeles, where I also went on a business trip. One day she phoned me
with a surprise: Ben has come to Los Angeles and they met for the first
time... I was also excited. Alice took Ben for a few day trip around
California in her new car. When they came back I also met with them a few
times. It looked to me that Ben was not interested in Alice, she was just a
convenient tour guide for him.

I had a nice long lunch with Ben, where he mentioned about being converted
to a new religion. The religion sounded very flip-like to me: "nothing is
real", "logic is useless", "consistency is for the naive", etc. We didn't
talk much about Alice, although he said something which really amazed me.
He said, "look, you are buying me a fourth meal here..." I didn't count the
meals, but, "yeah " -- I thought to myself -- "ist's obviously nice of him
to think of returning my hospitality". It appeared I was too quick in my
thoughts, as this was not what he was going to say. He continued: "now you
could think of finding me a nice girl, as I came such a long way here to
find a girl".

Abandoned logic and consistency? Hard to find a better example (I did
change some names to protect the heroes of this story, but it's based on my
real experience). An MS Flip person is infected with this virus I am trying
to research and I don't have all the answers yet. I am merely trying to put
together some behaviours I observe and find a common meme behind them.

Do you think Ben will ever be able to find a fulfilling relationship with
this kind of "logic"? This may be the price Eric asked about. This is just
an example. What is the real price of abandoning logic and consistency?

>Another question: If, you cannot find a cure for the virus, doesn't that
>imply, according to your theory, that rationality is inadequate to combat

I believe rationality is the only tool we have.

>On the internet ideas get spread by persuasion, but not
>force. If you cannot spread reason by persuasion, the only alternative is
>force. Doesn't this imply that using violence against people who you think
>are spreading the MS flip software might be an option?

Do you suggest I should punch Ben in the nose and tell him "look, young man,
don't you see you are a filthy parasite and you are not going to find any
meaningful relationship without changing your way of thinking first, and I
am certainly not going to help you with any 'girls' anymore"? Would this be
a right reaction? I don't think so.

I am still friends with Ben. How can I abandon a sick friend?

Regards, Tadeusz (Tad) Niwinski from planet TeTa (604) 985-4159