Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V3 #61
Sun, 07 Mar 1999 13:02:27 -0500

Reed Konsler wrote:
> >it's the machine that blinks "approved" that gets dinner
> >bought, not so much faith on the part of the restaurant.
> >
> >Norene
> I understand. But, the implication is that humans do what
> machines tell them to becuase the machine says so.

Well, don't they? I believe they do.

This is
> true...but I prefer to think of the transaction as one of
> mutual faith and trust between the diner, the restaurant,
> and the credit company.

Reed, I'm not a logic giant, but preferring to think of blind trust in the blinking light as mutual faith doesn't make it so. People don't want to and are not required to think that much. I can't imagine waitstaff sitting around trying to decide if they trust a diner before granting credit. They let Visa and AmEx do the job for them. Yes, the blinking light is scary when you think of it, and it is symbolic of something else, but that doesn't change its power. I can't remember why you were using this analogy. I just thought I'd throw in that observation.

> KMO said earlier that he was somewhat uncomfortable
> with materialistic society...and I understand why. In a
> significant sense, credit has replaced faith. Think of
> a saying like "Give credit where credit is due" and
> then a saying like "Give me a little credit" and finally
> "cash or credit?". The meaning of that word shifts
> from a kind of respect due a self-responsible person to
> faith in a fellow human and finally to a bloodless
> transaction.
> A way of thinking about this shift is in McLuanesque
> terms (equally in terms of Bruno Latour)...the medium
> is the message. The faith of transaction becomes so
> IMPLICIT that it drops out of our conscious perception.
> We just assume it, without need for justification...the
> question doesn't even occur to us to ask. It's just another
> part of the infrastructure you and I are so blessed to
> participate in. And, thus you are absolutely correct:
> >it's the machine that blinks "approved" that gets dinner
> >bought, not so much faith on the part of the restaurant.
> But there is such a universe of meaning in such a simple
> many levels. The truth is deeper than a
> blinking light. The light is the signifier, but it represents
> a small facet of the vast, complex, interlocked culture.
> Our culture: America.
> Those little things trouble me sometimes...especially when
> people just do what the blinking light says without thinking
> and, in the process, cause other people harm. At the same
> time, though, these things make me very proud to be a
> member of the most dynamic, powerful, productive society
> on the face of the Earth. We have so much to appreciate,
> and so much to offer.
> Reed
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Reed Konsler
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------

"Contrariwise", continued Tweedledee, "If it was so, it
might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it
ain't. That's logic."
Lewis Carroll