I've always construed the intent of Crocker's Rules as a personal declaration of personal responsibility for personal reactions. I don't say: "I can say anything I want to anyone, and if they take offense, it's their fault." I say: "Anyone can say anything they want to me, and if I take offense, it's my fault."
This declaration is neither altruistic, nor is it based on expectation of reciprocity - it is to my advantage to have other people be able to communicate with me in minimum time, or to communicate unpleasant truths.
Two people operating under Crocker's Rules should be able to exchange visualizations in minimum time and with minimum effort, so there *is* a networking effect. We can hope that this mental discipline will eventually spread, and drive out the sick culture of "manners" and "politeness" based on social dominance, politics, fear of retribution, and the desire to avoid trouble.
I do declare myself to be operating under Crocker's Rules, by the way.
-- email@example.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://pobox.com/~sentience/tmol-faq/meaningoflife.html Running on BeOS Typing in Dvorak Programming with Patterns Voting for Libertarians Heading for Singularity There Is A Better Way