From: david gobel (
Date: Thu Jan 27 2000 - 10:20:20 MST

Hi Jeff Davis,

You Said in part...

>Your original post got me to thinking. My feeling is that all the bits and
>pieces of the "ecocosm"--as you so aptly call it--play a range of roles,
>both cooperative and competitive, so looking for the beneficial role for
> viruses strikes me as a bit of good outside-the-box logic.

Thanks so much for the virus info and legwork...the reason I put this
question to the extr..list was that I didn't have the background to know
where to "swing the Axe" at the available info...and your extraordinary
kindness has helped me see where to start.

I think outside the box because I am happy and have achieved a level of
intellectual humility...because without humility, nothing important can be

If information starts as large as the universe, and grows at a rate >
factorial of the rate of accellerating discovery, then we must - by
definition be nearly totally ignorant. That is the mathematical/scientific
basis of rational humility. To deny this creates profound blindness.

I have always been amazed at how closed minded even those of +140 IQ fact, if there were a reliable measure of "closed mindedness", my
intuition is that high IQ correlates very closely with closed mindedness
(for reference, I'm 152 or so). Why? because the low self-esteem generated
during the "boy you sure are wierd" social/familial experiences of geeky
childhood, results in an extraordinarily strong desire to be right at all
costs cause being "right" is one thing that hi-IQ folks can be very good at.
I think this is one of the reasons for frequent nitpicking and "much ado
about not much" on this list.

ie...The reason books are so powerful is not because of cheap replication.
Primarily, it is because ideas in print sneak past the "I must have the idea
first if I'm gonna own it" ego watchdog. Ideas we read, are easy to annex as
our own. No one can hear or see us do it - including I don't
have to "give credit". Once I grew up, I realized that I spoke the ideas as
if they were my own all the time. Yet, I rarely had an original idea. After
I became aware of this phenomenon, I stopped thinking that original ideas
were important....what's really important is deliberate choices to do or not
do something about the ideas...and - oddly enough, now I have original
ideas...all the time.

Another phenomenon of High IQ. "As soon as I can conceive of the
inevitability of a thing, I won't do anything about it to either stop it or
make it happen"...why? because "it's inevitable...why bother". Thus, the
vast majority of high IQ folks live lives of "didn't really do anything
important". This is why I didn't renew Mensa membership after the first

Thanks Again,
Dave Gobel

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