RE: Tolerance for Dissent on Extropians

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sat Aug 04 2001 - 21:46:20 MDT

Joe Dees writes

> [Lee wrote]
>> In most cases that I've seen, those pile-on "attacks" have
>> merely been *many* people expressing their take.
> And you don't think these people talk to each other, and
> each cheer what the others write, and egg each other on?

Yes, they do. So what? You cannot suppose that your own
ideological allies don't do the same. Moreover, it doesn't
really matter if they egg each other on or not. What matter
are the tone of the discussion and the logic of the arguments.

>>AND TALK ABOUT TAKING NO PRISONERS. Look at what you wrote, Joe.
>>Now honestly, do you not perceive that---even in the slightest
>>way---your criticism could just as easily be directed at your
>>own post? May we not lower the level of denunciation just a
>>little *here*---just for a while (I'm not calling for complete
>>elimination of denunciation, by any means).
> Of course the level of denunciation was high; I was giving a
> doppelganger object lesson in what I have been repeatedly
> dealt; phrases like 'pinko social collectivist hand-wringing
> bleeding heart commie LIBERAL".

Yes. There has been some of that. But I think damned little;
though here one's impression would depend heavily on whether
one was the target. By the way, thanks very much for discussing
this further without any more name-calling. "Getting even" only
makes things worse, and accomplishes nothing more than ensuring
that your ideological adversaries pigeon-hole you.

>> Let's count the emotionally loaded words in this. (First, you *were*
>> warning Eric about the libertarians on this list, I was not in error.)

> Please cite the post in the archives; I honestly don't remember doing so.

A thousand apologies! I cannot figure out why I thought *you*
wrote it. It was Tiberius Gracchus who wrote it. He send it
at Sat 8/4/2001 6:46 AM:

"Oh my. The extropians are not gonna like you. They are going
to call you a troll and a socialist."

No wonder you couldn't remember it!

>> Okay. 1 - by those trolling 2 - slander 3 - "self-righteous-wing"
>> (I think that Joe means right-wing).
> I mean self-righteously right-wing - the secular equivalent of the religious
> right, and just as absolutist, messianic and condemnatory.
>> And then there is the statement about his adversaries being (or
>> projecting) logical incoherence and not being rooted in factual
>> reality. Your typos would diminish if you became less emotional
>> in all of this; you are among friends, I assure you.
> It was no typo;

Yes, it was, I was referring (and I quoted) the following:

> Such sellf-righteous-wing people seem to have a highly developed sense
> of psychological projection which proves to be rootless with respect to
> logical coherency or factual reality. I have even been told by one...

:-) So I'm not completely crazy, there are two "l"s there. Small typo, I guess.

>> Yes! Good, right! I have seen libertarians do exactly what you
>> say. They'll effectively dismiss arguments and posters by sentences
>> containing such terms *without* supplementing those phrases by
>> rational explanation. But then, on the other hand, some people
>> write things like "socioculturally ludditic conservatives", etc.
>> So, you see, it happens from all quarters.
> I'd have to drop a Spruce Goose load of such denunciations to go to even begin
> to tilt the balance towards something remotely resembling parity around here.

Well, I've not seen much of it lately. Anyway, name-calling unsupported
by argument needs to be dropped from everyone's behavior. But again,
isn't it objectively true that there are quite a number of posters with
collectivist and socialist leanings? Naturally, one should make clear
at least in context what one means by such terms; here I mean by
"collectivist", state-sponsored actions on a large-scale for purposes
of redistribution of wealth or on-high enforcement of majority-decided
moral norms of the non-traditional variety (e.g., outlawing some kinds
of personal freedoms that were, say, usual in America in 1850, e.g.,
discriminating against whomever you pleased for whatever reason you
pleased). Same, I think, for "socialist".

Or do you consider those just insult words. For example, calling anyone
a "fascist" or a "racist" on this list is quite wrong and is name-calling,
unless you back it up awfully well. This is true because not a soul
admits to such a description. But if you do as I have done, to wit
(in reverse) by, e.g., saying that some people have made racist
statements, then it of course has to be demonstrated by quoting the
precise source. So do you think that "socialist" and "collectivist"
as adjectives are often misapplied?


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