I share Eliezer's concern about the hostility and intemperance which has
been a constant undercurrent here since September 11. This list is no
place for jingoism or anti-foreign sentiments. IMO even patriotism is
inconsistent with Extropian philosophy, being nothing but an updated
version of old-fashioned tribalism. This is an international forum.
The U.S. Constitution or Bill of Rights were not handed down by God,
they are just one way of forming a society and as Extropians we should
question them and always look for better.
At the same time, I see some positive aspects even to harsh and bitter
messages. The last thing we want is to adopt a form of political
correctness as Extropian orthodoxy. We should have the courage to
challenge accepted truths. Sometimes that can't be done without hurting
people's feelings. We need to find a way to discuss those issues.
One approach is to imagine that you are at a small face-to-face
gathering which includes members of the group you wish to criticize.
Frank discussion can still include tact and sensitivity. We can all
stand to improve our skills in this area.
Also, I do grant leeway to people who are still reeling in some ways from
the shock of the 9/11 attacks. I think many of our posters are reacting
in fear and anger to what they perceived as an attack on themselves.
When people feel threatened, they react emotionally. This is a major
contributor to the more extreme messages we have seen. Hopefully future
readers will understand this as well.
We should all heed Eliezer's call to look at ourselves from a larger
perspective. Don't react to events just as Americans or Australians or
Caucasians or whatever other tribe you think you belong to. At the same
time, don't be afraid to speak up if you disagree with the consensus.
Be respectful, make your points, and don't try to argue them ad infinitum.
This way we can have a healthy discussion without veering into either
extreme of blood feuds or self-censorship.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:30 MDT