Re: Can I kill the "original"?

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Wed May 17 2000 - 20:56:32 MDT

"Lee Daniel Crocker" <> wrote:
> >> Certainly not! I'd never say such a thing; a tomato is a
> >> vegetable, not a fruit.
> > It's a fruit!
> That's actually a great example of the pointlessness of mental
> masturbation exercises like this whole "copy" nonsense. It is
> perfectly reasonable and entirely philospohically consistent to
> call a tomato a fruit in certain contexts (such as botany and
> genetics) and also perfectly valid and consistent to call it a
> vegetable in other contexts (cooking, law).

EXACTLY! The whole copy question is a semantic problem. There is no right
or wrong answer. The question of self-identity is a semantic question of
terminology. There is no right or wrong answer. It is a question of
self-value and what portion of oneself one desires to preserve under one's
own name. How can anyone argue that one such choice is "right" and one such
choice is "wrong"?

Yet when I try to point this out, people can't understand. They "decide"
which side of the debate I am on, and then argue against me as if I had
chosen that side. Even when I specifically said that I took neither of the
two sides, but had a third opinion, I was told that there are only two

Most of the discussions in this group run like that. Most posters are
posting their arguments against the perceived "other side", regardless of
what anybody has posted. I swear that if everybody quit the list except one
person, that person would keep arguing against all sorts of other positions.

I am beginning to question whether rational discussion can occur on a list
such as this. How do we hold rational discussions with people who don't
understand the basic rules of logic, debate, semantics or scientific method?
How do we hold definitions and examples constant? How do we keep debates
from evolving to back and forth banter that is so far removed from the
original positions, that nobody even understands what is being discussed

Harvey Newstrom <>
IBM Certified Senior Security Consultant,  Legal Hacker, Engineer, Research
Scientist, Author.

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