RE: Extremism

From: Jerry Mitchell (
Date: Sun Jan 07 2001 - 10:44:31 MST

Obviously no one can take any words away from anyone, we all can choose
whatever words we wish. To clarify my point though... When using the word
extremism to refer to someone else's ideas, then 99 times out of 100 (maybe
100 times out of 100) what you are really trying to tell them is that their
ideas are not "good" (extremism definitely seems to have a negative
connotation) BECAUSE they are so radically different then yours (the
mainstreams, the communities, etc...) view. You don't have to address the
content of the ideas at all other then try to use an argument by
intimidation. You don't address if the ideas are actually "correct". This is
why I was asking if anyone had a use of the word in any other use then the
one outlined above. If that is it's only use, then yes... I do suggest
dumping the word as anyone could use it to support "any" argument they
wanted for any reason just as long as they contrast against the right

Example: Transhumanist need to quiet their extremist banter about AI as the
average person certainly would think the establishment of a
hyper-intelligent race of machines on earth would be a threat.

I like the idea of the uber-machines so this is just an example to
illustrate the point. :P also note, that I didn't have to bring any evidence
or facts into the sentence above, accept to show that it was an extreme view
because the mainstream didn't believe it. But see how I can throw an
additional negative word at the view even though it really doesn't matter
how many people believe in an idea? I could care less if I was the only
person in the world that believes in a particular view if I thought it was
rational and logical. I mean at one point in history, Einstein was the only
person who believed in relativity (until he told someone else about it) so
I'm just trying to illustrate that the number of people who accept an idea
is irrelevant to it's validity.

Jerry Mitchell wrote:
> I don't think it
> cognitively efficient to use the word, meaning it doesn't add any useful
> information to what's being said (other then the fact that the person
> the word thinks that what is being described is radically different from
> "their" ideas).
> I for one cant find a
> reason to keep this anti-word in our language. If someone can spot a real
> use for this concept, please let me know.

I think that if I can't use the word to talk to somebody who uses it,
that takes a powerful communication tool away from me. If I were to rant
to that person about the word being meaningless, how far do you think
I'd get in trying to communicate?

There is a real use for this word as long as people worth talking to use
it. I think Joe is worth talking to. And there is such a thing as
extreme inflexibility. Maybe *that* is what "extremism" is really about.
What do you make of that definition?

Just thinking here.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:17 MDT