Re: Pain Isn't Pretty (was: hot babes, etc.)

Sarah Marr (
Wed, 12 Aug 1998 09:13:54 +0100

At 11:04 11/08/98 -0700, Robin Hanson wrote:
>Sarah wrote:
>>>... So let's all try to make it clear: We treasure women,
>>>and not just or even primarily as potential dates. ...
>>... I'm concerned about your use of 'we' in this last paragraph,
>>Robin. Personally, I do feel that the majority of people on this
>>list value women, but I'm not sure that allows the use of the
>>global 'we'.
>I didn't mean "we" as in "every one of us", but in a more majoritarian
>or average sense.

I can't help but feel that such usage may enable a rather insidious form of 'meme propogation' and authoritarianism to take place: those who disagree but do not wish to distinguish themselves are likely to be led towards a belief that they alone hold their views, against society as a whole and, if the 'we' is spoken by one in authority, against the leaders of the established order. They may adopt beliefs simply to become one of the 'we', rather than remain one of the 'them'. 'We' thus becomes prescriptive, rather than merely descriptive.

However, I'm not sure this a point worthy of resolution through debate on this list: it's merely an observation on my part. Besides, it does little, if not nothing, to diminish Robin's arguments which are, as they always are, enviably intelligent, well-informed and lucid.