From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Apr 29 2001 - 15:55:27 MDT

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> Neil Blaikie, commenting on Brian Atkins comments about why
> too much "tact" may be a bad thing, wrote:
> > How is not being nice or offensive extropic? (Seems more entropic to me.)
> > What is your definition of "newbie"? Anyone who isn't exactly like you?
> > And are you serious about trying to convert people?
> The question becomes "What is the investment required to displace
> memes?" Some people respond well to "nice" reasoned arguments,
> look at them and will gradually come to accept the premises
> and conclusions. However the information base each of us
> has is very large compared to our I/O bandwidth. Thus most
> of the reasoning remains behind the Wizard's curtain. At
> some point in an discussion, argument or debate, you have
> to make a decision that the other individual's reasoning
> is simply incorrect and may be so fundamentally wrong
> that just simply will not 'get' it UNLESS YOU YELL AT THEM.

Has it been your experience that yelling at someone who doesn't get
it is actually productive? It sure hasn't been true in mine.
Yell at most people and they will close their minds tight and bring
the fight/flight systems online. Do you yell at a child learning to
walk? No? Then why yell at an adult learning to rethink fundamental
assumptions? Which of us has so mastered all of what is germane to
Singularity and all that is likely to come and all the implications
of the changes along the way? All of us are likely at some point
to be simply wrong. I do not believe yelling at one another will
help that one bit. It would help a lot more to assume each of us
is genuinely involved, interested, intelligent and reasonable than
to assume the opposite and start yelling at what you view as the dumb

> However, most individuals simply accept whatever memes they
> are given, without ever asking "Why do I 'believe' what I
> belive?" or "What if I am wrong?". Those individuals have
> a huge investment in holding onto those memes because
> (a) If you are speaking to them, those memes have 'worked'
> to date (i.e. they are alive); (b) You cannot give
> them the 'experience' that your memes could work better;
> and (c) They are usually surrounded by individuals who
> for the most part 'agree' with their memes and so to
> discard them could place them in an outcast position with
> regard to their social network. The costs of radical
> mind shifts are very high.

Clearly you aren't speaking of Kurzweil, Smalley, Vogel and others
you disagree with and think should be yelled at here.

People truly like the above clearly cannot be reached nor
made more able to do the necessary self-examination and critical
thinking by any amount of yelling.

- samantha

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