RE: virus: MS Weapon

Robin Faichney (
Mon, 13 Oct 1997 10:36:18 +0100

> From: Richard Brodie[]
> On Sunday, October 12, 1997 3:47 AM, Robin Faichney
> [] wrote:
> > You mean, there's a match between the patterns inside
> > our heads and those outside?
> No, I don't mean that. I mean that our minds create patterns that
> approximate similar bits of reality. These matches are neither right
> nor
> wrong except as used for a particular purpose.
Right vs wrong is a red herring here. Or a straw man -- take
your pick. (The herring's probably tastier.)

What is it about reality that is approximated by the patterns
in our minds?

> Or else: what could
> > match a pattern, besides another pattern?
> Patterns "match" data to an arbitrary degree of precision.
What, exactly, in the data, is matched?

> > > Science creates predictive theories.
> > >
> > By finding consistent patterns, no? A good theory is a
> > good match to a consistent pattern.
> Sure, and by using consistent words and typing up the result in a
> consistent font and publishing it in a consistent journal read by a
> consistent group of scientists. So what? These things are all
> ancillary.
Not really. Consistency is absolutely fundamental. Obviously,
the consistency of the fonts used is less important than the
consistency of the phenomena being discussed using them,
but even that of the fonts matters, as different fonts often have
(consistently) different functions, and getting that "wrong"
could be seriously misleading. But without consistency in
the subject matter, there is nothing to discuss. All we know
of anything is consistent patterns. Without consistency,
there is nothing to know, and without patterns, there is
nothing to be consistent.[1] Your "reality" is just a
theoretical construct, whose only purpose is to explain
consistency, but in the final analysis, it (or rather, the
study of it, science) can do so only by reference to other

Hey, we're back to epistemology and ontology! What fun!

[1] It could be argued that consistency is already implied
by "pattern", the alternative being random information, but I
don't think that makes a significant difference to my main
points here.