Re: GUNS/TOOLS :Re: cheap thrills for Bay Area gun-nuts

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Sat Jan 13 2001 - 11:00:57 MST

"Joe Dees" <> wrote,
>I apologize for graphically describing how these folks get and give
>each other jollies,

Thanks for that. I know how these kinds of conversations escalate
and draw people in. I've been drawn in myself many times. I think a
friendly reminder helps tone things down. I don't think anybody is
deliberately trying to disrupt the list. We rarely have that
problem. As such, we really don't have serious opponents in this
group. We merely have some friendly disagreement over complicated

>but you must agree that a flood of group backpatting comparisons of
>gun models belongs on exi-freedom, not here. The only reason that
>they are posting such stuff here instead of exi-freedom, where they
>easily could be doing the same thing, is to exhibitionistically
>expose the entire extropy list to it whether they want to be or not,
>perhaps hoping to (1) harass those who do not wish to be subjected
>to it (such as myself) and (2) troll for firearms voyeurs for their
>exi list; I consider such behavior to be impositional, puerile and

You may be right. I don't think we have actually banned the subject,
but I'm not sure if it belongs here either.

I don't think guns are anti-extropian, but I'm not sure they are
extropian either. The may be unrelated technology. Sure, extropians
are pro-technology, pro-freedom, and pro-self-reliance, and the
related tools are important. But how detailed do we want to get into
tools? Gun advise would help extropians secure their personal safety
and freedom. Likewise, Windows debugging tips would help extropians
daily use of technology. Helping people smuggle in illegal
life-extension drugs might help achieve our longevity goals.
Debugging bottlenecks in the Internet would help our on-line
communications flow smoothly. Such tools are important, and are
relevant for extropian goals, but are they really general interest
enough to broadcast to every extropian on this list?

I don't think so. I think this list should be kept general interest.
Very specialized topics should be diverted to smaller groups of
experts (or other interested people) to hold more detailed
discussions. It is not that such topics are banned or wrong. They
merely are too specific for general consumption. The glow-monkey
discussion belongs here, because I think everyone is interested. If
we started debugging the exact DNA sequence of the monkey and started
looking for more enhancements, that would be too specialized. Most
people would not participate in sequencing specific genetic
base-pairs. It would be so specialized, so extremely on-topic to a
specific point, that most people would be unable to follow the
conversation. Likewise, general gun announcements or news could be
posted here, but specific recommendations about where to shoot, where
to get ammo, and comparing brands of ammo are too specialized. Most
people don't purchase new guns regularly enough to utilize such
suggestions. The number of people currently looking to purchase a
new gun at any given time is a small fraction of the total list.
More people will delete such a post unread than would read it. Such
a discussion is not wrong, but are merely off-topic for most readers.
It becomes a specialized discussion for experts or for a smaller
subset of the whole list.

These are my opinions only. No official decision has been made on
this topic. Even the oft-referenced "gun ban" was just temporary,
and was just an emergency response to traffic overload on this list.
It was not a permanent decision, and it was directed toward volume
not topic. I don't think anybody has actively tried to invent rules
for which subjects are on-topic for extropians and which are not.

Harvey Newstrom <>

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