Re: META: List discipline -- look out for ruling by Greg Burch

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Thu, 10 Jun 1999 12:21:28 -0500

Rob Harris Cen-IT wrote:
> > I am fully in favor of explaining things to novices, but
> > not *arguing* the basics with them.
> >
> Might this be a bad idea? Do you want people that just accept, no thought?
> The fact that they are old ideas does not make them 100% correct and
> valid.....Plus, debate on the basics helps to clear up misconceptions at
> this level....misconceptions which would be greatly increased if debate on
> the basics was made out of bounds.........

Is there anyone here who was initially unconvinced, but became converted after arguing for more than, oh, say, a week? My impression - perhaps formed by spending too much time around bright people - is that the novices we want to keep *ask* questions, *ask* for clarification if they don't like the answers, and generally settle in within a week.

There are plenty of Web sites devoted to the basics. I don't believe that rewriting those Web sites improves the list.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way