Re: Fwd: Heston Speech

From: Max More (
Date: Wed Feb 21 2001 - 17:05:33 MST

At 02:43 PM 2/21/01, Loree wrote:

>I didn't say THAT was illogical, just that his stand
>against PCness was illogical when he used PCness
>himself in an instance that he bragged about in the
>same speech.

I understand the point you're making. See below.

>What do you think "Political Correctness" is except
>using moral suasion and public approbation to attempt
>to enforce your own values on everyone around you?

These are not equivalent, though they certainly overlap. For one thing,
there is a big difference between moral suasion and public approbation. The
latter is essential to PCness, but the former can exist without the latter.
You may be right that Heston himself was doing both, though I didn't see it
that way given the audience he was talking to. The Harvard audience was not
likely for the most part to be sympathetic to him. So he did not seem to me
to be appealing to the emotional power of the majority. He was instead
appealing directly to moral suasion. (You may have a better case in the
Time Warner shareholder meeting.)

PCness works by systematically cutting off alternative views by ridiculing
them and suppressing them. I have had the experience many times while at
university, especially at Oxford. I don't remember Heston ridiculing
alternative views. Was he suppressing them by his actions as a shareholder?
In one sense, yes, but not in a systematic way. He was making his voice
heard and giving others the evidence to make their own decision.

There is no sharp distinction here, as standing up for your values actively
can shade over into suppression if enough people agree with you, and
stating an unpopular view shades into PCness if your view becomes more
widely accepted. I cut Heston some slack because he was NOT in the majority
in that situation at Harvard.

I know that you are jumping on his anti-PC views. That was not what I liked
about his speech. I liked that he was standing up for some unpopular values
in the face of opposition, lies, and slander. He could have skipped any
comments about what is politically correct and simply addressed the
specifics. I can understand why you see an inconsistency, and possibly it's
real, though that's not as clear to me. But that's not what I resonated
with in his speech.

'm sure Chuck is no extropian, and I was probably being politically
incorrect on this list to post that speech. But darn it, I still like it.



Max More, Ph.D. or
President, Extropy Institute.
Senior Content Architect, ManyWorlds Inc.:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:46 MDT