Re: Democracy held hostage

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Oct 02 2001 - 02:02:42 MDT

Spike Jones wrote:
> > On Mon, 1 Oct 2001 wrote:
> >
> > > It would if they had actually been cowardly. But they obviously weren't,
> > > and saying they were just makes us look like kooks...
> While arguing over whether terrorists are cowardly, we must
> keep in mind that the "coward" meme is one that evolved in order
> to encourage people to behave in a certain way. {Look at the
> word I just used, "encourage" meaning exhort or motivate.}

So what are we supposed to do? Engage in blatant defiance of reality for
propaganda purposes? Try that often enough and people just stop paying
attention to you. Even failing to acknowledge that, yes, it takes courage
("suicidal courage") to kamikaze a plane seems to me too much like
distorting reality. We've heard enough about the attacks not destroying
America's liberties. Should we let it destroy our rationality and
intellectual honesty as well?

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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