Re: New X-humanist forums (regarding Natasha)

From: Brian Manning Delaney (
Date: Sat Jun 24 2000 - 17:23:16 MDT

John M Grigg wrote:


John, although you've said things critical of me, it's clear
you've thought hard about this, which I appreciate.

> She does deserve a very sincere and heartfelt
> apology from you.

I simply don't see that yet. Indeed, I think _I_ am more
deserving of an apology.

The following is what I REALLY don't get at all! Honestly! If
any Extropian can explain it to me, you can. (Note, I checked my
interpretations with some non-Extropians on-hand here
physically, ALL of whom thought Natasha's reactions have been
deeply wrong, in at least some way.)-->

John wrote:
> Brian wrote:
> >> Towards the Good,
> Natasha wrote:
> > I don't believe this.
> Brian replied:
>> Then you a petty, blindly tribal, small-minded
>> human being -- or, at a minimum, are acting like one.
>> Towards the Good (with not everyone on board, unfortunately),
>> Brian.

> Arghh!! Brian, with language like this you
> shoot yourself in the foot!! This is extreme
> rudeness to Natasha!

John! Why aren't you telling Natasha not to be so rude to ME?!!!

Telling me I'm not working towards the Good isn't rude?!!

Yikes! She's saying, in essence, all the time I've put into this
discussion is for naught, and not just that, but, as I interpret
it, she's even impugning my intentions (but she might just mean
that I'm not achieving my intentions).

Maybe Natasha and I have different sensitivities (and Extropians
and non-Extropians, too, it seems, going by reactions of
non-Ext. friends of mine). When I read that, I thought it was
one of the most obnoxious things anyone's said to me in months.
I'm a PLATONIST, and she is more likely to know that than I am
to know who her ex- is! To say I'm not working towards the Good
is like telling a Christian he's the anti-Christ.

> :( Please be much
> more tactful in the future. You can
> make your points without lashing out.

In most cases, I think you're right. I was SO frustrated at
Natasha's repeated misinterpretations that I simply thought that
a barrage might get her to see how much she was upsetting me.
(Well, also, I partly just lost control.)

Now, about the boyfriend thing:

This was simply a misunderstanding that I corrected TWICE.

> The man she used to be with, FM-2030 is one of
> the founders of transhumanist thought(dating
> from the '60's) and from all accounts I have
> heard, a true gentleman.

That's not in queston! It must be that people (including
Natasha) think she's famous or well-known enough that by
"ex-boyfriend" I must mean FM-2030. But, taking the content of
the jest non-jestingly, let me be clear: FM-2030 is NOT the
person I meant.

I referred repeatedly to a problem of reference, such as the old
Hesperus Phosphorous philosophy problem. This is something that
can EASILY be looked up on the Web, if Natasha wasn't familiar
with it. Or she could have asked me, instead of simply IGNORING
my explanation.

Anyway, the idea is (I'm re-phrasing the traditional
formulation): If I say, "the evening star caused the problem,"
and I mean the bright thing in the sky near the sun right after
it sets (WHATEVER it be -- Mercury or Venus or Planet X), and
someone reacts, "damn you, Venus would never do a thing like
that!!" they've suffered a reference trauma (perhaps as a result
of my bad word choice -- but either way, they haven't got my

Let's be clear: I was NOT talking about FM-2030, and said as

> But you HAVE been rude to Natasha. She does deserve a very sincere and heartfelt apology from you. It was HIGHLY improper of you to "in jest" conjecture that the author of the accusatory emails was her ex-boyfriend.

But it wasn't even that kind of jest. It was CLEARLY a piece of
rhetoric designed to show the extreme lengths to which one would
have to go in order to figure out why someone would want to
slander Max. (I was actually complimenting Max.)

Here it is again:

> Max, I should be completely open and admit
> that I may have been unable to shake the
> influence of the psychotic asshole
> (Natasha's ex-boyfriend? I can't think
> of any other reason...)
> who until recently was emailing me
> telling me you're the root of

(By the way, now that I think about it, "any other _reason_"
instead of "any other _person_" makes my meaning fairly clear,
esp. the reference issue.)

MORE IMPORTANTLY, I explained that that was my meaning. The fact
that Natasha would -- so it seems -- willfully ignore my
explanation, and continue to be hostile towards me, and act as
if I hadn't explained it, strengthened my assumption that some
kind of tribalism or something (I don't know what) is the true
explanation for her hostility.

When I clarify like so:

>> Goodness, Natasha, it was a joke, quite
>> obviously so, going by the reactions of
>> others. The point was: under the assumption
>> that these emails have no basis in fact, there has to be
>> something highly irrational going on.

And then Natasha reacts yet AGAIN as if I didn't explain it, it
begins to seem -- quite strongly -- like she's simply looking
for excuses to insult me.

Even if you disagree (if so, I'd like to know why), can you see
that my reaction is understandable? She's reacting based on an
interpretation of me that is pretty much as BAD as possible.
More importantly: it's an interpretation that's very difficult
to sustain.

> Natasha wrote:
> > I don't know who this guy or gal was. But making a >remark that it was a past romance of mine was quite >rude.
> Brian wrote:
> That's NOT what I did.
> If you're not simply trying to score debating points (badly, I might add), I can only conclude that English -- or, certainly, American English -- is not your native language (your odd assumption that "boyfriend" has to refer to a lover who is boy is the more obvious ex.). If so, please slow down before responding.
> (end)

> "I can only conclude that english-- or, certainly,
> American English -- is not your native
> language" is extremely insulting language!

Why else is she not getting a very simple point I'm making
repeatedly?!!! (And, by the way, you might again be assuming
she's famous enough that I would know she's American or British
(or Irish, etc.), in which this would clearly be insulting. In
fact, I know no such thing. Calling someone, say, German, isn't
insulting, right?)

John, it looks to me like she's simply looking for excuses to
insult me!

I greatly appreciate your efforts, but I'm starting to get
pissed off about this. So I'm going to cool it (though I'm
afraid I must reaspond to Max's hostile post).

Something ain't right in Denmark.

Thanks again, John. Please consider my points. This is a more
complicated matter than even you might appreciate.

Best wishes,

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