From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Jan 25 2000 - 20:19:37 MST

Who's asking Robert Owen to give E. Shaun Russell a "break"? I looked
back over previous messages. As far as I can tell, Shaun made an
interesting point about the necessity for saying "maybe"; even the Sun
rising tomorrow can be qualified. *I* was impressed by his brilliance,
or at least I accepted it as part of the general smartness often found
in Extropians. Precision is important.

I find Robert Owen's implication that he is somehow in a position to
"judge" Owen - that he in a position of greater social authority or
reputation, with the associated connotation that he is automatically
right and Shaun is automatically wrong because of their respective ages
- to be unacceptable as a rational argument, and not really very
acceptable as social behavior, either. Shaun has been on the list
longer than I have. My social instincts say that he's in a position to
judge Owen, not vice versa.

I'm not quite sure why everybody seems to be treading so softly around
Robert Owen. Perhaps he has some outside-the-list authority of which I
am unaware; after all, I've yet to make it to an Extropy convention.
But unless this particular conversation has been going on for longer
than the single exchange I caught - which seems likely, because
otherwise things are getting a bit disproportionate - it looks to me
like Shaun, the senior member of this list, was walking along minding
his own business when Owen walked up behind him and hit him with a mallet.

Okay, I'm done.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Typing in Dvorak         Programming with Patterns  Writing in Gender-neutral
Voting for Libertarians  Heading for Singularity    There Is A Better Way

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