Re: PR disasters

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sat Jun 24 2000 - 12:25:58 MDT

Spike Jones <> writes:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > Sure, but you shouldn't hand them their weapons, should you? It is one
> > thing if they have to deliberately misrepresent us (and that can be
> > exposed, scoring debate points), another to have to face some idiocy
> > some transhumanist said on a public list...
> Anders, I dont see this as an issue, since any person could have
> figured out a way to insert material in the archives with any name
> on it, and placed a false early date on it. For this reason, no one should
> ever need to answer for anything they allegedly posted to the list.

That is the logical answer, which is completely worthless in a
rhetorical setting. Yes, maybe somebody forged that post where
somebody said rape was right and extropian, but when your opponent
reposts it widely to show what kind of evil people extropians are,
your protestations will not be as effective as the emotional outrage
the post causes. Judging from the effects of even utterly unbelievable
hoaxes like the Protocols of the Elders of Sion have had in history,
the fact that email can simply be forged does not help.

Even worse, if your opponent can dig up something offensive and stupid
said by somebody who is still active on the list or even publicly
stands by their views, then they don't even have to bother making
things up. Unfortunately, there are always some extremist with a large
mouth in any sufficiently large group, the trick for the opponent is
to find him or her.

The best defense against this is to make sure the mainstream of the
discussion is held in a polite and understandable manner, to create
clear principles that can help people understand that the extremist is
just that, and overall try to gain a good reputation.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:14:14 MDT