Mental Masturbation [was Re: Feelings... nothing more than. et al.]

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sat May 06 2000 - 16:11:19 MDT

Hey, Hey, Hey, Fat Robert, comes into the room and plops himself
down on the couch between skinny Lee and skinny Nadia, forcing
them into the corners with rather pinched looks on their faces,
and says, "You know, like man, I've got 40 messages currently in my
"Courtesy" file, and while I'm a staunch supporter of freedom of
communication, I have to comment on this --

Turning to Nadia, FR says, "The world is full of insensitive dolts,
who have communications protocols incompatible with your receptors,
who should best be viewed through a pair of rose colored glasses
because in the light of day their choice of fashion colors is
downright unappealing. They probably don't intend to dress that
way or if they do, they may simply be insensitive to the feeling
of fashion "faux pas" that induces in other individuals. Consider
that they are color-blind (e.g. handicapped) -- you can't fix the
problem until a more advanced technology is available."

Turning 180 degrees towards Lee, FR says, "Lee, the programmers
world is one of black and white, you only get grey, if you allocate
bits for it. Every message you send is filtered and translated
into the representational system of the recipient. A workshop
I took nearly 20 years ago pointed out -- 'Communication is a function
of *intention*.' If you are going to send a message you can't
just throw bits over the fence, you have to format them in a form
compatible with a protocol of the recipient(s). Communication
is not the responsibility of the recipient, it is the responsibility
of the sender. Failure to format appropriately means that you
are doing nothing more than contributing to the heat death of
the universe. Hardly an extropian perspective."

FR gets up off the couch, and turns around, looking at both
Lee and Nadia, and says, if you cannot learn to communicate
effectively with a bandwidth of a few hundred symbols a minute,
how on earth are you going to communicate when the bit rate is
a million times greater? You *must* learn to be aware of the
protocols of communciation and work collectively to adopt the
*most efficient* common ground. Why? Because your *life*
depends on it. If the Hansonian perspective of the singularity
is correct, the only hope for most of us is to be able to
focus on coming to a rapid consensus opinion and response.
Some of high-risk-takers will get an early lead, and the only way
to balance that will be the concerted effort of a much larger mass
of egalitarian individuals. If you get dragged down into a morass
of he-said/she-said, I-thought/they-thought, you are **doomed**.

You can afford this debate in the current reality, in the future
I would be much less assured.

Fat Robert, turns around, deanimates into a singular point,
then disappears. Lee and Nadia turn to each other (hopefully)
with single eyebrows raised and hand over notepads defining
communications protocols.


On Sat, 6 May 2000 wrote:

> In a message dated 5/6/2000 11:34:39 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> >
> > SO let me get this straight...I'm supposed to feel sympathy
> > and remorse for insulting people with the word "stupid", but
> > innocent people dying and rotting in jail are OK? Got it.
> Lee, having *you* feel remorse was never on *my* agenda. I respect you and I
> wanted to be sure you knew the effect your slurs had: towards shutting my
> mind to you like a steel trap.
> It'd be like if you were standing on my toe. If you were not aware this
> bothered me and I never asked to desist you might not move!! Plus, dude, it's
> your choice what u *feel* about calling people stupid, but it's my
> *responsibility* to try and stop you from doing it if it hurts our
> relationship; our dialogue.

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