Re: >H MEDIA:guidelines for transhumanists

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 13:25:57 -0500

I don't know why I'm stepping into this, except that sometimes, with rational people, a third-party analysis can settle an argument. As near as I can tell, this is the history of posts and objections:

First, Kathryn and Natasha chat for a while about the media-strategy paper and the transhumanist-positioning paper, then:

> As I said earlier, the more work done in this area the better and the fact
> that you are now putting together media material cannot discount earlier
> materials put together by people who have been doing this for years. Also,
> the fact that we have been doing this for years does not discount the work
> of your or other people who are putting media materials and press kits
> together. It really is not an issue.

I didn't notice anything offensive about this at the time - I thought Natasha was just saying that everyone was working independently. Kathryn seems to regard this as saying that she's not giving credit to Natasha, however:

> Given the fact that I had no clue until yesterday that this binder even
> existed, how could my own efforts possibly have discounted it? And what
> have I said or done to discount the efforts of people already doing media?
> These kinds of accusations are not appreciated or appropriate. I wrote this
> paper based on the encouragement of transhumanists worldwide who are
> beginning to think about doing media, and in the paper I acknowledge the
> contributions of the media experts and trainers who helped with some
> questions I had. It wasn't a secret that I was writing the paper, and I
> would have included your materials in some fashion had I known about them.

Natasha escalates the hostilities:
> Okay Kathryn, let's straighten this out. Your paper, as I understand it, is
> a "paper containing basic media strategy." Since I haven't seen it, I am
> not comparing it to other media compilations. Simple, apples and oranges.
> Now regarding all the other crap, stop it.

> Crap? I don't even know what kind of language that is for a list of
> higher discussion, or just what it is you expect me to stop doing.
> More accusations, with no foundation or support. I think at this point
> some sort of apology or retraction to the lists is in order. If you have
> a problem with me, fine, but don't drag it the members of the listserves
> into it.


As near as I can tell: Kathryn started it when she misinterpreted Natasha, then Natasha gratuitously used a curse-word. I would say you're both about equally to blame for all this. Furthermore, as far as I can tell, you don't have anything to actually argue about, since as *both* of you have stated your respective publications have nothing to do with each other.

Now stop this, apologize to each other, and get on with your lives. You're both known and respected transhumanists, champions of rationality and intelligence, and you have an image to maintain. Speaking of PR.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
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