Re: virus: Take off the masks
Thu, 18 Feb 1999 20:30:44 EST

In a message dated 2/18/99 11:52:17 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

<< >BTW, this new aol name "LogicNazi" was created in response to you >and Brodie. Its a toungue-in-cheek. Thanks for the inspiration.

Reed (getting overly serious and PC): I don't mean any offense, but I find that handle quite disgusting. Please don't mention my name in connection with it again. It strikes me as a particularly ritualistic you are covering yourself
in warpaints? I understand why you might wish to call on the spirit of logic to defend you...but what can Nazi's offer?

Bill Roh: It may be ritualistic - but the connotation is excellent. The NAZI's had a
lot to offer (I don't mean the skin head type NAZI) I mean the NAZI's that turned a poor - war torn country into a world dominating power in a very short time. There is much to learn there. Even though I hate what was the NAZIs emotionally, and lost many a relative (I could never have known them to be honest). The connotation of "logicnazi": someone who would persecute others for their lack of reasoning ability is indeed a good one. The word gets the point across nicely.>>

I think Bill's response was what I would typically expect of most philosophical people.

I think that Reed's response, illustrates exactly what I am talking about and what inspired me to create "LogicNazi". Indeed, I may use it from time to time in the future. It's not that I wish to be a logic nazi, as it is a parody of the responses that I get when I start suggesting that it is possible and desireable to strive toward a consistent and rational worldview, and when I suggest that it is less desireable to tolerate or endorse irrationality, or cop out to faith and delusional thinking. His first response to get all serious and PC about it, confirms this to me.

Here is an excerpt from one of my earlier messages in response to Brodie, where I came up with the idea of "LogicNazi":

>>"Arrogance" is for my growing annoyance at too much intellectual PC
where everybody gets to have "their own truths" and "their own realities"; any assertions are considered equal to any other assertions; and any attempt to rationally criticize somebody else's idea is seen as an act of oppression and unenlightenment.

And while I am very interested in "memes" and any future "memetics" that may develop, I have sensed that some fascinated with this metaphor are more interested in the spread of ideas, and in spreading their own ideas, than they are in assessing these ideas for real meaning and the actual value of these meanings. And while <tolerance> is a healthy thing to cultivate in moderation, and it certainly does have a tendency to lubricate the spread of ideas, something that I know fascinates the readership here, there is a point where it becomes unhealthy especially when valued more than rational thought.<<

and later . . .

>>In short, I think Reed has painted the same "logic nazi" picture of me that
you have, complete with vivid imaginings about my supposed authoritarian pecking-order anxieties - where I sit around and anguish about whether I am indeed THE Ueber Mensch, or just the Ueber Mensch's used condom.<<

and later . . .

>>Honestly though, I did find it amusing how Reed managed to depict truth and
rationality as such horrible, oppressive forces.<<

And just to be fair to Reed, I will end this EMail with a complete pasting of his message that Brodie and I were talking about. After reading it, I had an intuitive picture in my mind of the way I figured Reed saw me, which seemed totally out of synch with me. And so I humorously thought that I would oblige this image and create "LogicNazi". The fact that it disturbs Reed so much, confirms to me in some measure that this IS the boogeyman that he sees in his mind.

Reed, I am sure that you will have something to say about all of this, but I hope that you take a moment and see if there isn't some validity to this intuitive picture of the "logic nazi" in your psyche, before you launch in to tell us how erroneous it is.


>Perhaps the bodhisatva will come down from the mountain again (is it "level
>or "level 4" up there in the heavens?) and explain that one to us. Do you
>medals or insignia when you make it to the next higher level? When do you
>to the "level beyond human"? And will I make it in time for the next

The "level system" contains a kernel of truth, but again "the meme is the message". It is burrowing into your head and causing you so much consternation becuase you are still oriented towards the <hierarchy> meme (one, by the way, that Richard doesn't mention...but does a la the "level system"...demonstrate).

Frankly, Jake, any hierarchical system that placed you outside the inner circle would rub you the wrong way...and me, too. Each of us is naturally evolved to orient towards <hierarchy> becuase survival is based on who you know and what your position is in the troop. We are constantly calculating which hierarchy is to our best advantage...should I be a big fish in a little pond, or a little fish in a big pond...or is it time to "go it alone" and, possibly accrete my own hierarchy with me as king?

Everyone's reaction is exactly the same: "What do you mean I'm on level 2? What do I have to do to get level 3? What does level 3 get me?" If you re-read your own post you will find those same questions (veiled in sarcasm, to be sure). The same questions you ask your boss, the same questions you ask your university or chruch.

The first step to graduation is to move beyond <hierarchy>. If you want to know what Richard thinks, then you can read his book or ask him (though, I think I'd be pretty tired by now...given the number of times on this list, alone, I've heard him explain it). If you don't like his system, you don't have to use it.

Your problem is that you at least suspect that Richard's "level system" might be <true> and <logical>. And then, no matter where it put you in the <hierarchy>, you would have to accept it. If he gave you an IQ test and called you "stupid" then are you? Do you see how being ruled by <truth> and <logic> can become a problem? Even if Richard is a superior debater and you can't ever find a defect in his argument does that mean you MUST obey the dictates of his theory?

Of course not!

That is the core of Level 3. If a theory or argument doesn't agree with you and your purpose, then you don't have to obey it! You don't have anything to fact, it is your fear that <truth> might place you lower in the great chain of being than you imagine that is keeping you in place. As long as you are ruled by then your fear of
losing place in the <hierarchy> will cause you to squirm and twist words like logic and reason into the most contorted pretzel. You will ignore evidence becuase it would lead you to rationally evaluate yourself as lesser and exagerate evidence that would lead you evaluate yourself as greater.

Being a slave to <reason> leads inevitably to delusion.

>I personally don't think it is sanely possible, or even desireable
>to hold and operate on inconsistent world views. But maybe
>that is just the rationality talking. I can quit anytime. And
>then I will take it . . . one day at a time. Maybe Brodie can be
>my sponsor. Assuming he hasn't strangled me by then.

It's great that you're able to say that. The next step is to say it without so many protective layers of irony. You don't need them becuase this kind of communication is not ruled by <logic>. There aren't any traps, and your words cannot bind you unless you choose to let them.