letter to the Forum of Green Egg
from Vol. IX, No. 77, Ostara, March 1976
Dear Green Eggers:
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
Comments on the Oimelc issue:
1. Thanks for the kind words about ILLUMINATUS.
2. If Phoenix and Theos are weeping in their pillows about being excommunicated by Lady Ariane, let them take heart from my own career. I’ve been excommunicated from the Discordian Society over 50 times now. Every now and then, I still experience buzzing and tingling sensations, shooting bolts of blue energy in the frontal lobes and weird neo-Bartok melodies; then I realize it’s just another Discordian cabal excommunicating me again.
3. Jana Hollingsworth made an excellent point in noting that a male can be a radical feminist, by Webster’s definition of “radical” and “feminist.” Yea, verily, and indeed. Intelligence is a process of detecting, and detaching oneself from, all local parochialities and chauvinisms, including racism, sexism, nationalism and the recently noted “type G star chauvinism” (Sagan) and “electro-magnetic chauvinism (Sarfatti.)
Alas, Hollingsworth, who made her point in rebuttal to Herman Slater’s broadside blast against radical feminists, immediately repeats Slater’s error by issuing a broadside blast against “libertarianism,” without definitions or qualifications. Libertarianism includes, along with Smith and Locke, Spooner and Tucker and Spencer and Kroputkin and Baez and Heinlein and Goodman and Stirner (to name a few.) It is to be hoped that next time around Hollingsworth will define what kind of libertarianism she dislikes. That might even inspire Slater to define what type of radical feminism he dislikes.
Although the general exchange of semantically-meaningless insult is fun (for some readers), intelligent and meaningful debate is also fun (for other readers.)
4. R. Myron deserves great credit for his (or her) honesty in admitting the inability to understand Crowley’s books. Indeed, Myron deserves sympathy and encouragement, and maybe even a fund to provide a few courses in semantics and remedial reading. Alas, Myron deserves a horse laugh also, for the vulgar error of assuming that “what R. Myron can’t understand is not understandable.” There are quite a few around who have been able to understand (and apply) Crowley’s system, with much fun and profit.
5. I am totally unequipped to evaluate Daniel Blair’s revelations about the lost continent of Atlantis, but I will venture that I hope he knows more about that than he knows about science in general. His argument (“My criticism of science is that its premises, that experimentation and logic can lead to truth, is neither locally nor experimentally proven.”) is a semantic blob, a verbal knot without content. Of course, one cannot (should not) use logic to prove logic, which is as absurd as trying to use one’s teeth to bite one’s teeth. But this is a seeming problem, not a real one. One uses logic everyday (e.g. in crossing the street, or in looking for a lost fountain pen, etc.) not because it has been proven logically, which would be circular reasoning, but because it is that which seems to work. That is, the mental processes which seem to give predictability over the hundred thousand years are those which have been codified verbally by Aristotle and mathematically by Boole, Russell et al and called logic.
The same applies, of course, to experiment. Those procedures which, over the long evolutionary haul, seem to work, are those which are regularly employed by experimenters in strict fashion (and by you and me and probably Blair, when looking for that lost fountain pen, in a less strict fashion.) We then call them ”experimental method.” Again, the fact that experiment can’t prove experiment is as irrelevant as the fact that my teeth can’t bite my teeth.
The same circularity infests any human system developed by experience over the aeons. E.g., “pleasing sounds,” on the ground that musicians have never “proven” that their sounds are more pleasing than, say, a garbage can thrown down the stairs. Again, this reverses the cart and the horse. Music is defined as those sounds which human experience has found more pleasing than others.
Robert Anton Wilson
Berkeley, Cal 94704