Re: Buzzwords (was)Judging Beauty (was: wee-little

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Mon May 01 2000 - 23:08:55 MDT

On Monday, May 01, 2000 3:58 PM Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > > idea would be just as wrong as using it to justify misdeeds. And to
> > > use the fact that some people may justify misdeeds with the ideas as
> > > an excuse to reject them is damned sloppy thinking.
> >
> > Is it ever possible for you to disagree with me without throwing insults
> > way? Haven't I aske d you this before?
> Why do you interpret this statement as insulting you personally?
> It is no such thing; it is an honest expression of opinion on a
> point of philolophy--that a certain idea is stupid. I didn't imply
> in any way that you had committed such an act, and I didn't even
> include your name in the quoted text, because it wasn't relevant.
> If you take offense every time I call something stupid just because
> I'm replying to your message that brought the subject up, then
> you are going to be offended a lot, because I enjoy pointing out
> stupid ideas when I see them. It's nothing personal, it's just
> what I do.

I think most people would interpret it as an insult. Whether it's true or
not is another matter. The problem is this. If you call some idea or
utterance stupid -- as opposed to using "wrong" or "incorrect" or "invalid"
or a "non sequitir" or etc. -- it connotes a certain judgment about the
thinker or the utterer. For instance, if someone says, "Madonna is the
greatest artist of all time," and you reply, "That's the stupidest thing
I've heard all day," expect the person to not take you as objectively
evaluating her or his statement and soberly relating your evaluation back to
them, but as merely attacking her or his taste and character. (I.e., only a
stupid person would think that.:)

I know Lee Daniel probably did not intend it as an insult to anyone, but
most people are going to take it that way. Better instead to avoid such
words where possible if, indeed, you want to discourse with others.

This does not mean there aren't stupid ideas or people out there or that we
all don't sometimes blow off steam here. A lot of times, too, people
identify with their ideas and an attack on their ideas is taken as an attack
on them. (The worst offenders here are usually Popperians.:)

("And if you are a stupid person, please do not have sex. There are enough
stupid already. And if you are stupid and you must have sex, please have
sex with a nonhuman animal, preferably one that is smarter than you so that,
if by some freakish accident, you do produce an offspring, chances are it
will be smarter than you." Thanks!:)

Of course, we all know that the Singularity will solve the problem of

Blatantly understated,

Daniel Ust

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