Jerry R.: Just happened on this in a magazine article today:
...Michael Oakeshott, the late British philosopher, thought conversation should have a distinctive lack of purpose. Conversation "has no determined course, we do not ask what it is `for,'" he said. It is "an unrehearsed intellectual adventure." As with gambling, "its significance lies neither in winning nor on losing, but in wagering."
A distinctive lack of purpose. %^)
--- Joe Fineman firstname.lastname@example.org
||: If you did not wish to be ridden, why did you become an ass? :||