Re:virus: Re: virus-digest V3 #48

joe dees (
Fri, 19 Feb 1999 19:17:09 -0500

At Fri, 19 Feb 1999 12:55:34 -0500, you wrote:
>>Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 16:54:34 -0500
>>From: "joe dees" <>
>>Subject: Re:virus: Being a slave to <reason> leads inevitably to delusion
>>This does not make sense to Jake for two reasons:
>>1) He views reason not as an enslaver but as a liberator.
>>2) Jake thinks that what reason liberates people from is delusion.
>>I see nothing inherently flawed in either of these views; in fact,
>>you yourself are attempting to reason with Jake in order to free
>>him from what you view as delusions he might hold. Your words
>>and the fact that you're using them for the purpose you intend
>>mutually contradict.
>Close. I understand Jake's perspective and I understand the
>alternative that I'm presenting. He only understands the first,
>which you have described. I am trying to help him see both
>sides. But, don't you think it's somewhat rude to talk about
>people in the third person when they are right in front of us?
>Why don't we talk about it this way: Do you see both sides?
>>>Every gramatical statement makes sense.
>>This is simply wrong.
>>The famous philosophical example is the sentence
>>"Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."
>>It is grammatically impeccable, yet meaningless.
>Really? Your philosophy lacks imagination.

No, Daniel C. Dennett's philosophy must lack imagination, for it's his example.

>colorless --- bloodless --- unembodied --- unexpressed
>green --- envious --- angry
>ideas, sleep --- dreams
>furiously --- angry and unsettling
>"Unexpressed anger yields unsettling dreams."
>A possible translation. What did you intend when you said
>it? Did you mean nothing at all? In that case:

Stretches the bounds of poetic metaphor past the breaking point. Not everything's a koan, Reed.

>" [the sound of one hand clapping] "
>is a better translation. There are an infinte number of
>grammatical ways to communicate nothing. Take care,
>or you might find they comprise most of what you say.

I'll try not to follow your example in this respect. BTW, isn't the definition of a meaningless statement that, since it is neither true nor false, that it communicates nothing? (Those sounds are your own petard hoisting you, and the ball falling unplayably in your court).

>Nothing is simple, but nothing else is.

And nothing is unstable.

>>Well, you were confidently definitively wrong when
>>you asserted that all grammatically correct sentences
>> made some sort of sense. You could be wrong about
>>other things as well.
>But, as I have demonstrated, I was right in a sense. I
>am also right, in many senses, about a great many other
>things. Do you understand?

And as I have counter-demonstrated, you were wrong about being right. Don't sweat it too much, Reed; it happens to the self-believed best of us - even to you.

> Reed Konsler
Joe E. Dees
Poet, Pagan, Philosopher

Access your e-mail anywhere, at any time. Get your FREE BellSouth Web Mail account today!