Re: virus: Cognitive Dissonance

Tim Rhodes (
Sun, 7 Feb 1999 00:07:20 -0800

ERiC wrote:

>While I accept both the story and this assertion at face value, I am
>wondering why you chose to tell us that the story is false. (I don't
>buy "honesty"). Our reactions to this fact cannot possibly be of as
>much value (interest) as our original reactions to the story (which
>was obviously written to see our reactions). Could you let us in on
>the real reason?

Leaning back in his chair and lifting his pad, he looked down his nose and asked, "I'm more interested in what _you_ think the real reason was, Eric?"

Ah, seems there's no escape from talking about talking about talking...

If I must come up with some, I'll fashion a few for your amusement. The reasons would be (not neccesarily in order of importance):

  1. Self-serving honesty. (This, despite whatever you may think, Eric. I have seen people deceive whole mailing lists and have seen what happens when it blows up in their face. For my own reasons, I am not interested in that outcome.)
  2. An obscure analogy to the usefulness of myths and the utility of non-factual biblical stories that was doubtless lost on most, if not all.
  3. My own evil and frighteningly sinister motives.
  4. [#4 edited--on second thought, I've decided you just can't know this reason yet]
  5. Inspiring the same cognative dissonance that forced you to ask this question of me. Could my answer really be that important? /Why/?
  6. The devil made me do it.
  7. The story served a purpose at the specific moment which it was interjected into the discussion. After that purpose was fulfilled there remained no reason to maintain the illusion of fact.
  8. No cost, yet possible benifit.
  9. The voices told me to do it.
  10. Sheer unadulterated ego. "I am the God of memes! Who here among you will step forward and write my Bible?"
  11. I'd already told you it was a fiction, but you didn't get it until I spelled it out.
  12. My memes must have made me do it.

-Prof. Tim