Re: all i learned about internal censors...

Robert J. Bradbury (
Mon, 6 Sep 1999 07:32:55 -0700 (PDT)

On Sun, 5 Sep 1999, Spike Jones wrote:

> 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

Fear of disapproval I think has a much higher visual component than we acknowledge. I suspect it has to do with learning to watch the faces of people as children to discover if we are doing something that is disapproved of. Very few people have the ability to completely mask their emotions, so it is the fastest way to discover whether we are about to be critisized. There may even be some weak internal mental wiring to "stop" actions when we see visual disapproval. I could argue that there would be survival advantages for this.

The censors can be turned off in person, I did it once or twice at the Extro4 conference and once last year at the Foresight Nanotech conference. You have to be willing to risk violating social protocols and incurring an immense amount of dislike or disapproval. I can probably do it since I've pretty much given up wanting to be a member of those clubs that would have me. Of course something I strongly object to such as the distribution of incorrect memes is required to generate the willingness to take the risks. This is why, I'm not a good person to distribute Extropian ideas outside a Baptist church on Sunday mornings... :-)

The discussion does point out however the degree to which most of us are highly socially "boxed in". I would observe that it seems each generation of young people, have to punch one or two holes in the box. Goth style, body piercings and tatoos come to mind in the youth of today.