RE: flame wars

From: Spike (
Date: Thu Jul 17 2003 - 22:02:20 MDT

  • Next message: Damien Broderick: "in vitro looks riskier"

    From: Harvey Newstrom
    ... Sadly, there seems to be a very large and silent contingent that is
    too afraid or too tired to speak up, due to the flamewars and personal
    attacks on the list...

    Ja, this list is indeed flamey, always has been. I
    would suggest that it is possible to have totally
    open and honest discussion of difficult topics while
    maintaining diplomacy, good will and having some fun.
    We can maintain the spirit of Crocker's rules while
    still being open, diplomatic, kind and honest.

    As a thought experiment, think of the most honest
    never-tell-a-lie person you can imagine, one who is
    also a kind-hearted soul. Consider him in a typical
    extropianesque no-win situation, translated
    into an old familiar setting: "Jesus, do these
    pants make my butt look fat?"

    Now, he could use my usual technique of feigning an
    epileptic seizure, but that in itself is a form of
    dishonesty and they don't fall for it after the
    fourth time. It would be perfectly honest for him to
    answer with a simple "no", even if he is actually thinking:
    "No, those pants dont make your butt look fat. Its your
    fat butt that makes your butt look fat." Notice
    that a simple "no" is true, is far more diplomatic,
    spares feelings, follows the spirit of Crocker's rules
    of internet exchange.

    We deal with some difficult topics on this list, but
    I call on people to eschew heated argument in
    favor of controlled argument. That is really
    the best way for me: Im a lover not a fighter.

    Well, ok, Im not much of a lover either. But
    while we are practicing a modicum of diplomacy and
    taking into consideration human emotions, do let us
    remember to have fun, for there is little point
    of extending our lives if we are not having fun.
    Religion Incorporated realized long ago that their
    memes propagate much more effectively from people
    that are happy.

    ExI's best days are yet before of us. Let us
    cut down on rancor and fan the flames of progress.
    We are on the eve of construction.


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