Subject: Re: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 01:29:44 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Erik Naggum
| What is a bit?  Can you explain what it is?

* Erann Gat
| Yes, I can.

  Well, it seems that this sets the tone and the level of your discourse.

| I don't know how you can coherently deal with the world without referring
| to economic concepts.

  I do not know how that idiotic remark could come from anything I said.

| The very notion of a *useful* distinction is inherently economic.

  And "economic" is inherently based on a long, long chain of arguments,
  values, ontologies, scarcity and abundance, etc, etc.  In a sense,
  everything and nothing is "inherently" economic in nature.  As the basis
  of a concept, theory, ontology, basically anything, "economic" begs the
  question of what it is, how it relates to other things, and how to deal
  with it.  "Economic" says _nothing_.

| A thing is useful if it has utility.  Utility is an economic concept.
| Sorry, but that's how I think.  I don't believe I'm alone in this.

  No, I certainly also believe you are not alone in thinking so.

| Tell me: do you believe that there is a useful distinction to be made
| between a steam engine and a tea kettle?  If so, how do you make this
| distiction without an ontology based at least to some extent on economy?

  By basing it something else, of course.  (In keeping with your stupid
  response to my first question, which you effectively dodged, I do not
  intend to waste my time answering an unserious quibbler.)  However, I
  find it rather _amusing_ that you think you can actually _base_ an
  ontology on economics, but this is just game-playing on your part, right?
  I _know_ you are not the idiot you work very hard to sound like here.

  I suggest a book that I think you may find a bit more _challenging_ than
  continuing the stupid games you like to play with me:

  David R. Koepsell: The Ontology of Cyberspace; Law, Philosophy, and the
  Future of Intellectual Property.  Open Court, 2000.  ISBN 0-8126-9423-6.

  It is only 130 pages.  It should take no more than a few hours to read,
  but may take a _long_ time to grasp fully, especiall if you are one of
  the mystical kind who have already decided that software is _not_ real.

  Norway is now run by a priest from the fundamentalist Christian People's
  Party, the fifth largest party representing one eighth of the electorate.
  Carrying a Swiss Army pocket knife in Oslo, Norway, is a criminal offense.