Re: Help: Communication: Organize (Make Friend Not Associate)

Geoff Smith (
Sun, 13 Apr 1997 23:57:39 -0700 (PDT)

> I have not slipped into solipsism but...
> For operation of my bio-computer in the 'real' world I have to choose a
> game/ritual/theory (which deep down I know to be a lie). Progress has
> become hard as I refuse to stick to any one emic reality for any length of
> time. This is good, I am less intolerant of other people and their reality
> tunnels, but bad as progress is slowed almost to a stop.
> I was wondering if any other extropians had similar difficulties in
> finding a framework of solid beliefs. At the moment my only solid belief
> is that all my beliefs are constantly in flux.
> Just wondering...
> M.
> "It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs"
> But I ask myself, 'how can we move forward if we have no firm beliefs to
> spring from?'

I think anyone who puts any thought at all into the nature of reality and
epistemology will go through some dark nihilistic stage... angst, I
guess. I know I did. Realizing the fact that this is an angst suffered
by basically anyone who has thought about life is not so commonplace. I
would have appreciated a teacher telling me that philisophical angst was
normal back in high school. I don't think getting over this angst
necessarily means forming some new philosophy that claims to find the
"truth", it simply requires that you except that no knowledge is sacred or
a foundation except for the existence of self. It can be a comforting
thought when you think of how much bullshit there is in the memes sent to
you every day by the media. It's nice to know that everyone could be
"wrong," that it all could be a big dream... I find that more comforting
than the "truth" some religions will sell me.

Re: progress....

I think you are measuring progress using the religious sense of
the word, that we are finding more and more "truth" and this will somehow
allow us to understand the universe in some divine way. I see progress as
the increase of *useable* information, and I don't see why there needs to
be truth except for those who don't have the strength to exist with
criticizable, temporary beliefs. In science, there are models to explain
phenomena, but no one claims that those models are a direct
representation of reality, they are simply a tool that we find useful in
analyzing and using the workings of the universe. They are an
approximation, and sometimes a very bad one. I see no problem with this,
science is not a religion, it is not about beliefs, science is simply a