Re: Heston Speech

From: Steve Nichols (
Date: Sat Feb 24 2001 - 11:09:55 MST

Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 21:19:05 -0800
From: "Technotranscendence" <>
Subject: Re: Heston Speech

Hi Dan

>> be continually modified ... then it is dead meat. And if it is
>> modified, then it cannot ever be formulated ...... so why bother?

>This can be said about any theory or idea. You seem to be assuming either
>knowledge is final and perfect or it's totally unacceptable. Why science?
>Why technology? Why case-by-case rejection? Why anything?

Yeh, I think we should keep (unproven) conjecture to a minimum except
for purposes of floating ideas to be shot down in discussion. Ideas are
fine in dialectic processes, but when dealing with the world we should
deal wiv concrete facts as we find them, and not thru a hypothetical

> >By what means does one "to judge issues on a case-by-case, situationalist
> >(posthuman aesthetic) way?" That would seem to mean to me an implicit,
> >tacit political philosophy as opposed to an explicit one.
> Yes.
> >The latter is easier to examine.
> Fossils are easy to examine, this is true.

>Just because something isn't explicated, doesn't mean it's alive and
>thriving. I tend to think that making assumptions visible and tacit
>knowledge more verbal, one is better able to examine it.

Fossils just an example .... things easier to examine once have stopped
moving around, in post-mortem, when they can be dissected. This is
not always useful though .... Turning it around, ideas can also be harder
to examine than events/ situations that present in the world. Why bother
with extra levels of examination, more than needed, why not just cut to
the quick?

> >(Also, I think such "case-by-case" thinking is just how
> >the average person and politician approaches matters.
> Of course it must be ..... politicians in practice find they cannot
> stick to their cumbersome political theories.

>I think what is more likely is they find their rhetoric prevents their
>desire for more power or to get along from coming to fruition. The same
>applies to nonpoliticians. Being able to ignore principles gives one an
>easy out when they become a nuisance to getting along with other people or
>avoid a bad conscience. It's easy to say, "Stealing is wrong" and then
>one takes home office supplies from work justifying that as not really
>stealing and pointing out how we must judge each theft on a case-by-case
>basis before deciding if it's truly theft.:)

But "stealing is wrong", period, doesn't allow exceptions like stealing a
off a rich landowner to feed your starving family. Also principles can come
into conflict. So you still have to deal wiv things on a case-by-case even
when you have principles.

> Not sure what you mean here, but certainly, a priori offence at
> anti-Christian
> art is a 'political' theory rather than a case-by-case aesthetic

>I don't think of this as a "'political' theory." Perhaps a definition is
>order here. What do you mean by political theory?

This wasn't my example ... no, as you say it isn't political theory.

>> I have deliberately never tried to compile any "Posthuman Principles"
>> though because I *do* distrust (or rather, see little point in) UNIVERSAL
> catch-all linguistic formulations that are independent of any empirical
>> or evidence.

>But isn't that a rule in action above? You seem to be using as your rule
>"empirical test[s] or evidence" as your touchstone, so you are not really
>throwing out theory, just saying you are.

Implicit rule, maybe or maybe not. I want to reduce theory as much
as practicable ... as a pragmatist I do not *rule out* rules in all
circumstances ... that would be to make the same error I am
accusing others of making! Let's just minimise them .....

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