Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Maybe "Richard Dawkins" is Richard Dawkins

John Higgs does an fine job of explaining Robert Anton Wilson's ideas, as you may have noticed if you've read his new book, KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money.

Here is another example of Higgs discussing RAW: His July 23, 2009, column for the Guardian on "Happy Maybe Day" explains "maybe logic" and why Wilson advocated an attitude of agnosticism in sifting through theories.

The comments section provides unexpected confirmation for Higgs' thesis that you should never be too sure of yourself.

Higgs' piece drew 134 comments, including from one person who proposed "Can't Be Arsed Day." What does that mean? What language do they speak over there?

Several of the commenters took Higgs to task for his use of a quote from Richard Dawkins, the famous atheist, and then Higgs defended his use on the quote, noting that Dawkins had Tweeted a link to the piece.

Then someone using the name Richard Dawkins (who I will call RichardDawkins1) weighed in, saying that he did feel misquoted. As for the Tweet (from RichardDawkins2), RichardDawkins1 said, "I did no such thing. I wouldn't know how to tweet to save my life."

I will note that as of AD February 27, 2013,  there is a Richard Dawkins Twitter account, seemingly authentic, with 624,824 followers. The owner of the account -- let's call him RichardDawkins3 -- has issued 8,834 Tweets. Perhaps RichardDawkins1 could save his life, after all, if he had to issue a Tweet to remain alive, as he has had (maybe, if he's the same person) 8,834 opportunities to practice the lifesaving maneuver. We report, you decide.

One more bit: Richard Dawkins1 says " 'Maybe Day' is, of course, admirable." So RAW fans can say that Richard Dawkins has endorsed maybe logic. Maybe.

Thanks to Nick Helweg-Larsen for the link. I'm pretty sure it's the real Nick Helweg-Larsen helping me out here, but as Mr. Higgs would tell you, you never know.

More JMR Higgs weirdness here.

28 comments:

Laynd said...

Admirable or ironically admirable?

John Higgs said...

Yeah it turns out that it is remarkably easy to annoy Richard Dawkins. He was very dismissive of agnosticism in The God Delusion (IIRC a chapter was called 'The Poverty Of Agnosticism') but more recently he has described himself as an agnostic. Which is to his credit, but he is still some way from being a multiple-model agnostic. He uses a 1-10 scale to measure faith/agnosticism/atheism, for example, but doesn't seem to realise it's nothing more than a strawman model of his own creation.

It was good to get RAW's ideas into The Guardian, though. I deliberately didn't explain that July 23rd was Maybe Day because that was the day he first thought he was receiving messages from Sirius, I didn't think that would go down to well...

supergee said...

Maybe Dawkins caught it from Luther Blissett.

Vincent Murphy said...

Actually the real Nick was long ago abducted by the Not So Grand Order of Erisian Knights of the half Built temple - Milton Keynes Chapter and replaced with an absolute 100% identical copy of himself

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