Re: virus: Snipping and Sniping was RE: The Myth of medicine,

Tim Rhodes (
Fri, 12 Mar 1999 09:42:11 -0800 (PST)

To resume where I left off, on Fri, 12 Mar 1999, carlw wrote:

> Reason may not be beyond rational criticism in principle, and should always
> be subjected to multiple scrutiny as wish fullfillment and reason go so
> frequently together. Yet how can reason by in practice subjected to rational
> criticism? The primary tool for rational anything is reason. Which makes
> reason as axiomatic as any other proposition. And of course axioms are not
> subject, cannot be subject, to criticism from within the system where they
> are foundational. That would need a meta system.

Yes. Maybe if we cannot examine the best method for determining "what is true" (reason) from within the system, we may need to evaluate the system from outside by questioning the parameters inside which its "effects are beneficial." (w/ a tip o' the hat to David McF) And although the expanse which those parameters circumscribe is vast, as with most systems, the really interesting bits are the ones that lie near the chaotic borderline.

> To the best of my
> knowledge, no such system exists. Either because it could not be implemented
> satisfactorilly, or because it was not needed.

When the need finally makes itself known to you, I have no doubt you will have little trouble exploring new meta-systems openly. You have an advantage over most in that regard, I suspect.

>Tim wrote:
> > Nature is full of marvels, is it not?
> Here we are 'prima facia' in agreement. Would we still agree were I to say
> that human nature is a part of nature, and as such, is not only marvelous,
> but also "red in tooth and claw".

Yes we would be. In fact I'm currently working on a project which might be accurately characterized as propagandizing the public into action behind slogans not unlike "REDDER TEETH NOW!" and "DON'T TOLERATE UNSHARPENED CLAWS AT ANY COST!" (wink)

> > That is quite interesting. Why do you claim you "headed up" the team?
> >
> I was appointed as Chief Scientist, responsible directly to the board for
> structuring, hiring, firing and managing the department. I guess that means
> that I "headed (it) up". I proceeded to implement the department on a peer
> basis, hiring suitable team players with the active participation of the
> team members to that point, and working by persuasion, co-operation,
> collaboration and peer review, rather than by fiat. Given the quality of the
> players, and the environment, it was not very hard to do. It was also very
> rewarding.

You understand the basics of really good management. But my point was more that humans by nature interact in implicit hierarchies. "Man is by nature a political animal."

> [snip a lot of really good stuff about Animal Farm and Orwell]
> I was meaning equal in the first, the English sense.

And I was meaning to be a smart-ass, in the Shakespearian fool sense. I'll bet your group had an unspoken internal structure--equitable and highly lateral to be sure--but apparent to an outside observer nonetheless. But I never observed it, so I cannot _know_, only suppose.

> Am I reacting in a hypersensitive fashion, or merely with an appropriate
> degree of paranoia?

Both. "Just because you're a paranoid doesn't mean they're not always watching you."

> I only know that if I were to
> attribute to the seemingly self-styled, self-identified level 3 clique, the
> competence they seem to attribute to themselves (and nobody I have met has a
> higher opinion of "level 3ers" than they have of themselves), I would have
> to assume that ambiguities like this would only occur through deliberate
> selection and therefore malice.

How does the former imply the later? 'splain, please.

> I look forward to it, you have my condolences on your connection. Slowness
> is a veritable bummer and decidedly uncool.

A sacrifice made when housesitting for another. Maybe I'll have a chance to swing by my place later today and pound out a full fledged rantous giganticus.

-Prof. Tim

Oh! BTW, great quotes! Those are all going in my "Thus Spake" folder!