Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: abb3w@fulton.seas.Virginia.EDU (Arthur Bernard Byrne)
Subject: Re: The telephone game
Message-ID: <1991Nov9.002426.16688@murdoch.acc.Virginia.EDU>
Sender: usenet@murdoch.acc.Virginia.EDU
Organization: University of Virginia
References: <FCf_0Z#@engin.umich.edu>
Date: Sat, 9 Nov 91 00:24:26 GMT

In article <FCf_0Z#@engin.umich.edu> davidb@caen.engin.umich.edu (David Bonnell) writes: >Have you ever played the telephone game or something like it? One >person tells a story and then passes it on. Then the next person >tells it to the next and then you compare the story to that of the first >person.

Ah yes, the degradation of communication signal. May I suggest that you track down Michael Flynn's novel "In the Country of the Blind"? Although it has it's weak points, the mathematics isn't one. ANY idea is, by the nature of communication, reinterpreted as new people are exposed to it. This can lead, over time, to the CORRUPTION OF A GROUP changing the direction, or a SCHISM, resulting in subgroups taking separate paths to separate ends. It is refered to as "Carson's Dilemma" in the book, and there are only about five or so ways out of it, none of which allow for long term viability any group now using them.

> > What does this teach you? > > How would it relate to the information > being communicated in this newsgroup?

Signal degredation is usually between 5 and 25% meme loss per re-transmission, I would guess, baring reposts and excerpts, which hover at under 0.1% loss from typos.

> >I personally NEVER accept any data that is not first hand or written down >and from a reliable source. It's called evaluation and the rejection of >verbal tech. >

Secondary sources, in sufficient quantity, that reference a common primary source should also be accepted until a primary source becomes available. On another track, our freind David has been refering mostly to Dianetics. Judging from the evidence I see, I have little doubt that Dianetics has at LEAST the social value of the Bible. It sounds like it is, at the WORST, meaningless mind candy, and cannot do ANY harm in and of itself. "A man can believe a remarkable lot of silly ideas and still be perfectly functional" (Heinlein?). What MOST of the people seem to be questioning is the organization around the book. To use the Bible, the RC church in the middle ages I understand was corrupt and depraved (I recall a freind of mine in midaeval studies telling of nuns fighting to deside which would sleep with the Pope when he came to visit). It has since been extensively reformed, and is much more ethical now days. [Don't bother me with any one recent scandal; I didn't say it was perfect; what do you expect of the 3rd largest religeon, homogeneity?] I am willing to stipulate that LRH may have had good ideas. I'm checking out the copy of Dianetics from the UVA library. Checking our catalog, we seem to have a remarkable lot of stuff at UVA. I AM willing to look at some of these.

Oh... and how do you determine a RELIABLE Source? One that doesn't contradict your deeply held views?


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