RE: virus: Logic and Level-3 together at last (was RE: The story-telling ape (was virus: Logic))

Richard Brodie (
Fri, 24 Oct 1997 10:37:53 -0700

On Friday, October 24, 1997 9:06 AM, David McFadzean
[] wrote:
> At 03:52 PM 10/21/97 -0600, David McFadzean wrote:
> Of course it would be ludicrous
> if he claimed that only his definition of "beauty" is a valid Level-3
> need. But if he doesn't claim that then it leaves a back door open for
> guessed it) logic! Yes, few things are more beautiful to me than a
> argument that is simultaneously elegant, eloquent and true. Whether it is
> a mathematical proof, a scientific paper, a rant on the Extropians
> list, a classic Bertrand Russell essay, or a public rebuttal from one
> contemporary philosopher to another, it is the beauty that compels me
> to read and believe, and it is the beauty of it that inspires me to
> learn to construct one of my own.

I couldn't agree more. However, you are confusing a means of filling a core
need with the core need itself. When I listen to you, I definitely feel
beauty and elegance as core needs for you. "Truth" seems forced though, as
if you were hanging on to it for fear of losing the rest. My opinion only.

> I find the idea of Level-3 appealing. It promises a way to happiness and
> I want to be happy just as much as the next guy. It claims to be a level
> above and/or beyond Level-2 and I hate being left behind (has anyone ever
> questioned whether the sheer act of giving a level a higher number than
> another makes it better?). I was dismayed that my every attempt to get
> onto Level-3 while retaining rationality was blocked by Richard, the L3
> guru. Now he must validate my core needs, or say that only certain kinds
> of beauty are admissible. Your move, Richard. :-)

Who said you have to give up rationality? You keep it and get more stuff
too! As to what's admissible, I'm pretty clear about this in Getting Past
OK. Core needs are feelings. So it's the good feeling you get when you
experience beauty that's the core need, not the thing that's beautiful. So
there's no limit on what kinds of beauty are allowed. Mathematical proofs
are great. I myself swoon over Euclid's one-word proof of the Pythagorean

David, please understand I'm not interested in putting you down at all. I
like you. I hope you know that. The purpose of my conversation with you is
to help you along your path... YOUR path.


Richard Brodie
Author, VIRUS OF THE MIND: The New Science of the Meme
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