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Re: rant on the morality of confidentiality (fwd)



Forwarded message:

> Subject: Re: rant on the morality of confidentiality 
> From: [email protected] (Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM)
> Date: Sat, 10 Jan 98 23:48:06 EST

> Blanc <[email protected]> writes:
> > Initially your argument had to do with secrecy and the need for scientists
> > to publish their work so that the scientific community may benefit from it.
> 
> Not just the scientific community... everyone. If an art critic declines
> to publish something, its a loss probably only to his fellow art critics,
> but if a mathematician or a biologist or a physicist doesn't publish, it's
> a loss for more than just his colleagues.

I believe this view to be fundamentaly flawed. Consider that if a particular
scientist doesn't publish (ala Fermat) then this does not inherently
prohibit or inhibit others from deriving the result (lot's of examples so I
won't pick a single one). However, when an artist or other practitioner of
human expression fails to publish then an item of unique character is lost.
Had T.S. Elliot not written 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats' it is
*very* unlikely that *anyone* in the entire remaining history of the
universe would have written those charming poems and we would be deprived
among other things of knowing why a cat has three names. In addition, the
fact that a given individual finds no worth in why a cat has three names
does not change the worth of the insight provided by the author. So, while a
given art critics views may not mean much to you this does not justify in
any manner trivializing that worth for others. To do so would indicate a
personality of extreme hubris and potentialy a severe sociopathy. Expect
them to begin walking around with their hand in their vest at any moment.

The distinction is that human expression doesn't assume homogeneity nor
isotropy as science requires. Rather it assumes a priori that each activity
and it's result is unique in the history of the universe and fundamentaly an
expression of that *individual* view of experience. That is what art derives
it worth from while science derives its worth from the result being the same
irrespective of the practitioner.

And before somebody brings it up, while reality *is* observer dependant,
this is a recognition that the act of testing is fundamentaly a part of the
sytsem being tested. The statistical results *are* homogenious and
isotropic for observers - Fire in the Deep not withstanding.


            The end of our exploring will be to arrive at where we
            started, and to know the place for the first time.

                                                 T.S. Eliot




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