RE: virus: Re: Social Metaphysics

Tim Rhodes (
Mon, 6 Oct 1997 23:42:12 -0700 (PDT)

On Sat, 4 Oct 1997, David McFadzean wrote:

> > Tim, out of his mind on smack and copies of The Nation, wrote:
> >A system is better at answering questions if it gives better answers. You
> >can /test/ which answers are better by using scientific or logical means.
> >ANSWERS TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTIONS!* Just because a program is good at
> >debugging does not mean I want to use it for my OS!!!
> Again I don't think you know when you are using logic. If you can tell
> which answers are better then you are using logic at some level.

I don't believe I ever said to give up on logic entirely (if I did it was
just the heroin talking). Just that there are other ways of deriving

> >> And even if you could, how would you know that
> >> your conclusions aren't nonsensical? Or do you care?
> >
> >If they are giving you what you evaluate as "good" answers I find it hard
> >to dismiss those as "nonsensical" answers. I don't see a question here.
> You can ignore it but that doesn't make it disappear.

Sorry, maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. "How do you know that answers
that you evaluate as valid (using logic or any other criteria) are not

A good question. You don't really. Quite often a nonsensical answer is
the only valid one (but no Zen here now, please). Of course many would
define "nonsensical" as "invalid", in which case the question is left as a
sort of koan in its own right:

"How do you know that what is valid is not invalid?"

> I realize (now) I'm getting too worked up over this argument. But I
> blame you! :)

Sorry, but it's the Aries in me--I like to stir things up. :-)

-Prof. Tim