all i learned about internal censors...

Spike Jones (
Sun, 05 Sep 1999 23:36:09 -0700

Elizabeth Childs wrote:

> I think it's easy to get the impression when someone posts something
> offensive, and almost no one responds, that the whole list agrees with them.

This would be a mistake. Since there is so much volume on extropians, most of us need to sift thru and read only the posts on our specialty topics or by our favorite posters. Much of the offensive material is kookified and never read.

> I wouldn't say that there's a lot of sexism in particular on the
> Extropian list, compared to all of the other hostility on various subjects.

True. Altho we have our share of grumpy bears on extropians, it is at least as civilized as others I read.

> I wouldn't say that the Extropian list is a particularly rude place. Most
> of the people who post are thoughtful and considerate. But it's the nature
> of electronic communication. People get into terrible flame wars, challenge
> each other like alpha males, and say things they would never say face to
> face. I once introduced two friends without knowing that they had been
> brutally flaming each other on one of the usenet administration groups. In
> person, they got along fine.

I was hoping someone would say this. I met a man at E4 who I didnt know, who was not wearing a name tag. We spoke for some time before I realized we had flamed each other offlist. Strangely, neither of us mentioned

the incident and we got along fine. I met one of the most notorious grumpasaurus
rexes there too. He seemed like a perfect gentleman in person. (?!)

This brings up an interesting point. I think that we all have active internal censors, that we have developed from a young age, kindergarten, that help us in social situations. For some strange reason, we switch this module to off when we post to the internet. When in a medium far more permanent than print, we freely say things that we would *never* utter in person! I myself have made gags [such as giving up masturbation, etc] that I could *never* state in the presence of my oldest and closest friends, yet I have zero control over how this post will be used. I can forget ever running for president. {8-[ {8^D

Remember the first time you ran Eliza, or similar software psychiatrist? Did you not soon find yourself telling the computer things you could never even tell a human psychiatrist? The real doctor has her medical license at stake
should she ever betray your trust, plus medical malpractice suits, etc, yet here you go typing material into a computer that is probably stored permanently in the machine, under *your* password, that you *cannot* erase, that can be used in god knows how many ways, yet *your internal censorship* routine seems to have been turned off. Can anyone explain this?

My notion is that online romances have the *potential* to be so much more honest and true, because those internal censors are turned off when online. There is no *reason* to lie, because one has no way to know if one is doing any good by doing so. Furthermore, I would suggest that those internal censors, which have been exercised every day since kindergarten *cannot* be turned off in person. We dont know how to turn them off! We cant! But online we can. Why please? spike