Re: New X-humanist forums (respecting Max & Natasha)

Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 19:20:52 MDT

>I suggest that all three parties apologize to the list
>for having a heated discussion in the public forum.

I disagree. = )

Max, who does have a very sincere interest in his work, and a real stake in
how the online presence of 'Extropians' is perceived, made a public rebuttal
to a very accusatory post. This is often called a "poison pen" letter. We, as
a community, were told we were actively practicing a form of racism. Not one
or two, which would be understandable, but all. Sweepingly.

Max, knowing this did not reflect well, and knowing also it was CLEARLY NOT
the views he espoused, did rebut this post calmly, non-reactively but
concisely. If you reread the original response you'll see no hint of anger,
only blatant disbelief and a firm denial of the assertions.

This man holds a Ph.D. in philosophy, teaches philosphy and lectures on
Extropy and pan-rationalism, and does lots of other things I don't even know
about. He certainly knows his field. He is a good debater -- and I might add,
*used to this sort of balderdash* -- but, aware of how damaging slander can
be, he handled it carefully.

Max knows a lot more about argument and rhetoric than I, but I recognize a
good opponent when I see one. If I attacked Extropy I'd expect nothing less
than a response that was well aimed and targeted. IMHO he was practicing a
good deal of restraint in his riposte.

Still, his academic field *is* argument, and his intelligence is trained and
swift, so he can and does triumph over most who challenge him in words. This
is foreseeably frustrating and to his opponents, who are chagrined! For they
do not see themselves as wrong, yet find themselves corrected swiftly,
sensibly and realistically. Publicly.

Who does not find it odd to attack a group as a whole, and not speak of
individuals who have offended? Who doesn't find a hidden ax to grind in the
way this was presented in the first place?

It is important for all of us that Max More, Ph.D., creator of the Extropy
institute, set the record straight when rumor mongers begin flinging insults
and half-truths that could end up damaging our very reputations, however they
are arrived at. I applaud him not allowing someone to accuse me (and you) of
things we have not done, without at least attempting to correct it for the
record. For the archives. For the web.

I also stand by Natasha for not allowing someone she does not know to make
weird and discourteous statements about threats from her past boyfriends. Why
wouldn't she be offended? Perhaps if someone said this about your ex, you'd
be more than a little concerned, too, my goodness! I would be completely
baffled if someone I never met suggested my past lovers were out to get them.
I would not research it to find some lost link to Plato, I would seek to
correct it publicly before it became rumor.

Who on this list does not find that whole scenario scurrilous and just plain

It speaks volumes about that person who would cast this weird tone upon the
thread, and hopefully it is noted as a very dubious attempt to muddy the pond
of reason, not to clarify it.

Abadee-abbadee, That's all' Folks.

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