virus: Meaning. Logos. Boolean Algebra.

Eric Boyd (
Sat, 18 Oct 1997 00:06:21 -0400

Hello all;

Quoting from:
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 15:06:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: (Reed Konsler)
Subject: virus: Logic and Purpose<snip>

> But it is easier to understand people and phenomena by asking
> "what is it's purpose...what does it want?". This is referd to by
> Dennett as "The Intentional Stance". The question which we ought
> to ask ourselves is "What do I want? "What is my purpose or overall
> intention" Human beings are blessed (or cursed) with a flexible
> purpose...but each of us is purpose-seeking, or best understood from
> that perspective.
I have a book here you should all read... "Man's Search for Meaning: an
introduction to logotherapy" by Viktor E. Frankl. According to Frankl,
"logo" = "meaning"[1], and so logotherapy is a psychiatric discipline
dealing with "The Will to Meaning". Absolutely amazing book. It's
original title was "From death camp to Existentialism", and the new
addition at the back, which actually describes the therapy used on real
patients is very convincing.

Frankl maintains that many of the problems in our society stem from our
*fustrated* Will to Meaning, and that the way to solve these problems is
to find *meaning* in the suffering that surrounds us. His major point
is a quotation from Nietzsche: "He who has a <I>why</I> to live for can
bear with almost any <I>how</I>".

I'm sure Brodie is a big fan of Frankl. Logotherapy fits into the level
three framework so well!

[1] I've also heard that it means "Word" (from the Bible: John 1:1) and
that logos means logic, and that logos means "world view" (from Zen and
the Art of Motorcycle maintenance)... what I'm seeing is a deep division
in our language which is *not* present in the original Greek (?). It's
almost as if, because we have multiple words, we no longer understand
that all of these things are *very* related... our world view *comes*
from our language and *gives* us our meaning. One is dependent on the
other. Question for analysis: why do we have separate words for these

> - ---------------------------------------------------
> What is the purpose of the Church of Virus?
> - ---------------------------------------------------
To fight Faith, and evangelize Rationality and Memetics. It's nothing
more than "a bunch of militant rationalists who've O.D.'d on Richard
Dawkins and general systems theory"

I want to mention another one of my classes: MATH 217. "Algebraic
Structures with Applications". This week, we looked at Logic.

What we did was look at the very bottom of the Church of Reason:
generalized boolean systems. There it was, in front of me on the
blackboard: the system of thought that lead to it all. Reduced to it's
most basic level, the blood and guts of the entire thing. In pure
mathematical language.

That class scared the shit out me.

He gave us the general system at the start, and then spent the rest of
the class showing how this general system was repeated over and over
again everywhere we looked: logic, set theory, language, mathematics in

It became so obvious that here, indeed, was the *entire* Church.

Each boolean algebra was composed of six things:

1) a set B: the working data
2 and 3) 2 binary operators: meet (called and in logic) and join (called
or in logic)
4) 1 singularly operator: complement (called not in logic)
5 and 6) two elements in B *denoted* by 0 and 1 ("contradiction" and
"tautology") (note that the actual elements do not have to *be* 1 and
0, but that we can represent them that way)

All these conspired together in such a way that nine axioms also held:
1 and 2) Commutative laws
3 and 4) Distributive laws
5 and 6) Definitions of 1 and 0
--> for all elements x of B (x join 0) = x
and for all elements x of B (x meet 1) = x
7 and 8) complement laws:
--> (x join not-x) = 1
and (x meet not-x) = 0
9) 0 not= 1

What scares me most is numbers 7 and 8. Those two imply that the
reverse of a true statement is a false one. Can you justify that
statement? I can falsify it.

What does that say about how valid our logical systems are?

Work from your axioms;

anyone interested in a memetic analysis of Buddhism? I'm writing one
for my RELS 131 -- "an introduction to world religions" -- course. I
aim to show how viewing Buddhism as <Buddhism> enables us to understand
many of the reasons it has so flourished as a world religion. (of
course, hindsight is *always* 20:20. This essay does nothing to prove
the memetical axioms (for that we need to *predict* the evolution of a
meme complex, and have it come true), it takes them for granted.)