Re: Can I kill the "original"?

From: Ian Field (
Date: Wed May 17 2000 - 21:44:26 MDT

I doubt that blanket insults and non-constructive criticism will provide a


----- Original Message -----
From: "Harvey Newstrom" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2000 7:56 PM
Subject: Re: Can I kill the "original"?

| "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
| 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
| 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
| two sides, but had a third opinion, I was told that there are only two
| sides.
| 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
| person, that person would keep arguing against all sorts of other
| 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
| 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
| anymore?
| --
| Harvey Newstrom <>
| IBM Certified Senior Security Consultant, Legal Hacker, Engineer,
| Scientist, Author.

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