META: Adjudicating list/topic salience

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sat Jan 19 2002 - 01:37:35 MST

I probably should elaborate upon my earlier reaction to T0M's two comments
to me:

At 05:34 PM 1/18/02 EST, T0Morrow wrote:

>I think you care too much what I think if you feel compelled
>to seek a "ruling" about my opinion. That game is not worth
>the candle, as my opinion carries no official weight.

It wasn't a game, BTW, and I still have my candle. :)

In case any wickless goose gets the misleading impression that my request
for a `ruling' was evidence of hardened authoritarianism and benighted
socialist tendencies, think again. The exchange between me and T0M occurred
in a private forum paid for and structured (or so I understand) by the
Extropian Institute, headed by Max More and a board of directors. I'm not a
member, and have never paid a penny, so I regard my presence here as a
privilege. T0M's opinion, he tells us, carries no official weight, but he
is the person who coined the term `extropy' and, I gather, was instrumental
with Dr More in forming the organization. Had Mike Lorrey or Spike Jones or
Jack Sprat made his comment questioning the salience of my recent posts on
Pfizer's new drug subsidization policy, I'd have responded differently
*because they obviously have no official weight* (and in Spike's case no
weight of any kind, except for the woolen suit).

I do think it's appropriate that somebody keep an eye on the general tenor
of posts, and caution or even weed out anyone who posts entirely irrelevant
material. If a naive Christian apologist or `Creation scientist' or
$cientologist or Nazi started plaguing the list and wouldn't shut up, I'd
be in there urging his or her expulsion. But I'd be aware that it's a
private list, so that my opinion (while carrying at least *some*
reputational weight by now, I'd hope) is finally irrelevant; it comes down
to what the list owners think. This list is not founded in egalitarian
democracy but in private ownership agorocracy. Or so it appears. Well,
cool; and given that fact, adjudication is not authoritarianism, and it's
worth a few candles. I've got mine ready, with the end sharpened.

Damien Broderick

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:35 MST