Re: ENTROPIAN ALERT! Another warning for us to organize

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Sun Mar 11 2001 - 09:11:01 MST

At 3:37am -0500 3/11/01, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
>I agree. We don't want to be labeled. Sadly, we will be labeled
>uncritical cheerleaders regardless of absolutely anything we say or do
>about it,

I agree that we don't want to compromise our principals for public
image, or try to portray a false image. However, I have seen too
many PR blunders occur too many times because of some public
backlash. In most cases, the backlash was understandable and
predictable, even if it was misguided. If a sudden controversy blows
up around us and we suddenly get labeled as a weird cult, that
perception will follow us around forever.

For example, if someone boycotted an abortion clinic because they
donated stem cells for research, it might not be wise to
counter-boycott. The message of pro-research would never be heard
over the pro/anti abortion debate. No matter how clearly you explain
it to a reporter, we would get reported on TV as the pro-abortionist
group. Even if this is OK, it would make it almost impossible for
the real message to get across. None of the reporters sent to cover
the pro/anti abortion conflict will notice a minor story on the side
about a group supporting research.

I cringe at the thought of avoiding a fight because of mistaken
perceptions. However, we do need to choose our battles wisely, and
to distribute our scarce resources most effectively.

Harvey Newstrom <>

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