Re: Plea (was ExI: Cognitive Extropians)

Kathryn Aegis (
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 03:21:50 +0000

Lee Daniel Crocker:

>When argumentation was done face-to-face, a thoughless word might provoke
>a fist to the nose, so restraint was practical. Why should that apply
>to the Internet? Why should we not instead develop an ethic based on
>tolerance on the receiving end?

Because I perceive a vast difference between vigorous debate and the
deliberate neglect of basic civil codes. Advanced debaters are quite
capable of making their points without stooping to insult, rudeness,
or thoughtless maligning of their conversation partners. The word
'thoughtless' itself indicates that one is not utilizing one's brain
to find the most effective method of conveying an argument.

I have also noticed in the course of my work that in most situations
where the speaker makes statements to the effect that the listener
should 'learn to develop a thicker skin', etc., the person on the
receiving end usually hears something that quite legitimately stirs
anger. Simply demanding that people develop a greater tolerance for
what they perceive as ill treatment does nothing to promote a better
world, nor does it address the underlying problems.

Someday we may not have to deal with emotions at all, but at the
present time they serve as valuable signals as to whether a person
perceives a threat, is being overstimulated by the environment, or is
simply not in a state of good health. I say we utilize that
information to every positive end.


Kathryn Aegis