virus: participating in reality
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:19:02 EST

In a message dated 2/17/99 7:52:13 PM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< Ouch! Oh no! Anything but solipsism :-)

Given the subject, what I think I hoped to imply was that the way in which we approach the assimilation of knowledge allows us to tailor that knowledge to suit our reference frame. Given the clumsy wording I used here, maybe I'd better beat a retreat to physics and leave metaphysics to the people who know something about it. Or at least, to the people here who fondly imagine that they do :-/

Am I now successfully insinuating what I fondly imagined that I had meant to imply ;-?

I really do think that reality per se exists outside of self, as if the 'self' is the only object of verifiable knowledge, then the idea of a shared reality must be a myth. Experience tells me it is not a myth or else, that I cannot trust my senses and reason. If I cannot trust my senses and reason then I cannot be rational. In that case I would still rather work with my very complex and it seems to me rational delusional world, than face the "reality" of my delusion or the chaos of the idea of a level 3/4 meme on the virus mail list :-) Of course the idea of a multiperson solipsism is neither new nor unique (nor useful?) but that a master at playing with the idea of it was RA Heinlein (try The Number of the Beast). Then I had the idea that it just maybe might map rather well to the idea of circular meme propagation within a clique of people who have decided to form a mail list to discuss the subject.

Anybody who misses the humor here is requested not to reply.

TheHermit (who will not be replying, misses the humor, and always attempts to humor the misses)

Yes, "socially created reality" seems to be an odd idea floating through the culture as of late, especially amongst some of the more anti-scientifically bent folks, and capitalizing on some of the uncertainties and philosophical carelessness of some members of the scientific community.

My take on this, I imagine, is somewhat similar to yours. We do not "create" reality either as individuals or as societies. However our participation within reality can never be overlooked, as likewise reality's participation in our "selves" and "societies". Depending on the situation, such mutual participation can cause the illusion or delusion that either we are "creating" reality, or that we are completely without free will, to name the extremes. Neither one of these positions is warranted IMO, and of course those extremes of world view are incompatible with each other.