Re: Something you 'said'

Paul Wakfer (70023.3041@CompuServe.COM)
25 Nov 96 19:54:42 EST wrote:

>>Wasn't it Heinlein who coined it? IMHO it is often used a bit entropically.
>I was thinking about this too.
>1. Entropians love to propigate a "lack" mentality, for without the sense of
>hopelessness - it is harder to impose limits on people.
>2. I get a lot of lunches and dinners free, and it is the great pleasure of
> those who dine with me to provide them.
>And I am happy to do the same for anyone who is very fun to talk to. Or very
>pretty to look at, for that matter ; - )
>Now this doesnt mean that you should freeload or we need to abandon the
>notion that trading and exchange should and can be beneficial to both
>parties, but the negativity behind these little sayings can be subconsciously

I think that you have missed the whole point of TANSTAAFL. Its purpose (an
excellent one to my mind) is to remind us all that, one way or another, we DO
always earn and pay for everything we get. In the above example you have
prepaid (or earned) your "free" lunches and dinners by educating and refining
the quality and appeal of the person you are. In addition, there is involved
here different kinds of value, some monetary and some non-monetary
(spiritual?). So there is really no question of needing to abandon the ideas of
trade to mutual advantage even in this context. A wider question which I would
like to see discussed in a thread (maybe is has been before, I am new to the
list) would be whether all of a person's values are even commensurable (and
therefore can be evaluated in terms of money).

I agree that
>3. Life is full of thess little catch phases-homilies, old
>wives tales, fables.... a meme, a myth...
>the benefit would be, parents and elders can tell us our
>limits, try to warn us, I guess...

But I don't agree that they should *all* be written off and ignored. Certainly,
most are either useless, misleading, or even grossly harmful. However, some of
them (and TANSTAAFL) is one such, play a very useful role as a concise summing
up of some very fundamental logical or reality ideas. Two that come immediately
to mind which I particularly like and value are "It's a chicken and egg
problem" and "You can't see the forrest for the trees"

>But I avoid them all, and even try to avoid repetitious, obviously pat,
>thoughts of my *own*. If I have decided "it is so", and invented a little
>mental script, I am probably atrophy prone.
>There are to many NEW patterns to explore to get stuck on old ones.

Again, I don't agree. Yes, one should not get "stuck on" old patterns. But
neither should one abandon "truths", just because they are old.

-- Paul -- Phone: 416-968-6291 Pager: 800-805-2870


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