Re: Dis-engagement (was New X-humanist forums)

From: John M Grigg (
Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 05:58:22 MDT

Hello Brian and everyone else,

Eliezer wrote:
Let's face it. Delaney is an idiot. We all know he's an idiot. The quality of this list would go up immensely if we declared and kept a policy of kicking idiots off the list.

He is quite adept at "verbal/linguistic judo" to say the least but not an idiot. And is namecalling good? At times he was insulting and condescending as you pointed out. He brought up some interesting points but in the wrong atmosphere and tone. There were no winners in this argument. I am still waiting for his onlist apology to Natasha. Brian...?

Eliezer wrote:
We would all be having a lot more fun if someone formed a Committee on Un-Extropian Activities that would ruthlessly mock every post that didn't have something useful to say.

Banning people is one thing, but mocking them!! ;)

Eliezer wrote:
Extropianism's cultural anxiety about social uniformity does us all credit, but I think it's time for us to get over it. We couldn't form a dogma if we tried.

But we could form a stultifying environment where people are afraid to go out on a limb and break from what is seen as "group think."

Eliezer wrote:
In fact, he appears to be that
highly specialized type of moron that results when someone of "high intelligence" devotes that intelligence to rationalizing arbitrary positions.

There is some truth here! But some of his positions were not simply "arbitrary" but instead very carefully thought out in an attempt to show others another viewpoint which could also be valid.

Harvey Newstrom wrote an excellent summation of this entire thread. He has perception and standing on the list to state things clearly. He put it better than I ever could have.

Harvey wrote:
I see this whole thread as being an example of e-communication gone bad. It has gone far beyond the original discussion and has degenerated to a reputation salvaging mission for everyone. The very
fact that all postings are being made publicly is because the participants are no longer speaking to each other, but are posting exposition to the rest of the list. Each side is casting their own
position in the best light, while casting the opposing position in the worst light.

Yes, I just wish the tone had been better at the start and you had been much more thoughtful and restrained when dealing with others, especially Natasha.

Harvey wrote:
I see (unintentional) exaggeration and misinterpretation on both sides. Although not deliberate, both sides have reacted disproportionately to certain statements. Items that were minor or
meaningless have been taken as intentional insults. Attacks have been made upon some statements that were throw-away lines or even unrelated or content-free filler.

I totally agree.

Harvey wrote:
This really should be taken off-line. The postings made for the benefit of the list audience have distorted the discussion beyond all recognition. I suggest that all three parties apologize to the list
for having a heated discussion in the public forum. It doesn't matter who started it or who was right, I think you can all three agree that all of your postings have continued this discussion on the
list. Hopefully, you can call three agree to take it off-list for private resolution. Then, when you get off-line, I suggest that you all three apologize for the heated manner in which you have responded
to each other. All three of you have overreacted to statements that were not as harsh as your reactions indicated. In the privacy of your off-line discussions, you should be able to start the discussion from scratch with simple statements of fact.

I sincerely hope this is done.

Brian you are lucky to have Carl as a friend and apologist for you. Ultimately though, yes, we extropians are a somewhat "tribalistic" group, though certainly not cultish. And if anyone messes with Natasha, they're in for it! ;) Myself, Eliezer, and Mike Lorrey are Natasha's "posse!"

Brian said in conclusion:
I apologize to the list(s) for my part in this mess. Personally, I don't think public conflict is always bad. My experience is that one -- if not all involved -- often comes out the other side much improved. But 1) I think it seems very unlikely this will happen in the case at hand; and 2) I haven't been sufficiently sensitive to others' _different_ views on the value of conflict. Given that it actually started seeming likely to be unproductive earlier, an apology is most definitely in order. Again: I'm sorry, and I shall do my best to be certain not to allow this to happen again.

Had the discussion started in an emotionally neutral way you might have gotten the results you wanted. Also, had you not baited Natasha things might not have derailed so horribly. Bringing up unpleasant matters like an odd person bothering you with emails accusing Max of plaigerism did not help either! lol

I think of the extropians as a really cool club/fraternity to associate with and learn from. Noble goals and a glorious vision of the future is the foundation of it. We have our officers and as with the leadership of any organization, they wish to be treated with respect, and they deserve it in my view. Are we perfect as a group or individually?, not yet!


John Grigg- future "MAX-imum Human!" And I lay claim to the term!! :) "Natashian" is also mine! It's a subtype of posthuman who is extremely aesthetically developed!

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