RE: virus: MS Flip Software Price

David McFadzean (
Mon, 06 Oct 1997 17:36:47 -0600

At 07:44 PM 10/6/97 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:

>But there are questions that logic can't answer.
>What I have in mind here is (I think) what you
>already agreed with: what do you want to do?
>Logic may help you achieve a goal, but it's no
>good for setting goals, except for those that
>are merely a means to some greater end,
>and therefore not really goals at all.

The category that you excluded (means to some
greater end) encompasses almost all goals that
a person ever thinks about.

>There are also other tools, that work in ways
>that logic cannot. A very obvious example is
>where your goal is a simple physical thing,
>like raising a cup to your lips. Using your
>hand and arm, without any thought
>whatsoever, is indisputably the best way to
>achieve such a goal. Similarly, if you want
>someone to like you, simply behaving as if
>you like them is almost guaranteed to get
>better results than any scheme you could
>come up with using logic.

These are good examples of what I was talking
about: shortcuts to answers you would get if
you used logic. I am disagreeing with your last
point; simply behaving as if you like them sounds
like a logical strategy, doesn't it?

OK, how about this for the new word:

parational (from Greek para- akin; Latin rationalis)
adj. 1. agreeable or in accordance to reason, though
not necessarily through an act of reasoning.

So computers, animals, and other intentional agents
behave in a parational manner if and only if they
behave in such a way that it seems as if they are
thinking in a logical manner.

My contention is that means of acting and making
choices (such as intuition and instinct) are just fine
so long as they are parational. Often they are even
better when true rational thinking would take too
long ("hmm, if I leave my hand in the fire much longer
I'm going to do some serious damage here") or when
we lack the intellectual tools (like physical activities).

>As to when logic should be used, I think
>experience is probably the best general
>guide, because only that can tell you
>when such short cuts as physical and
>social skills are likely to be much more
>efficient than any use of logic.

How is using experience different than using logic?
"If this situation is sufficiently like a previous
situation then..."

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus