RE: virus: maxims and ground rules

Tim Rhodes (
Mon, 10 May 1999 10:50:50 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 10 May 1999, TheHermit wrote:

> While I agree that "consciousness is better than/preferable to
> unconsciousness",

(Just a quick aside: isn't that statement about as useful as "Being alive is better than/preferable to being dead?" I mean really? How many people are going to read it and think "Whoa! That's not a group for me, man--I'm down with unconsciousness all the way!")

> I think that I will relax my skepticism enough to admit
> foundational sciences. To posit "there is no such thing as absolute,
> knowable, non-cultural-group-specific truth" implies needing to reinvent or
> revalidate philosophy, logics, mathematics, science, scientific methodology,
> didactics and a whole host of other issues. Many of which require years of
> observation and testing to accept.

I think it is more of an acknowledgement of the pedigree held by the "truths" in the sciences. Quantum physics, for instance, is a truth specific to a cultural group--Physicists--who are themselves a subset of another cultural group--the Scientists, etc.

It doesn't require the reinvention of their findings, but it does require that those findings be put in the context of the group-culture that created them and that holds them dear. It then becomes more apparent that these are often battles between groups of people and not, as we euphemistically like to claim, a "battle of ideas."

-Prof. Tim