Re: Who are you to "take it easy" on Samantha?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Oct 29 2001 - 15:12:34 MST

Mike Lorrey wrote:
> "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> >
> > There are a very few people who are down on my list as "hit them as hard
> > as you like, you won't accidentally shatter their psyche". Being on that
> > list is a deep compliment, and I try very hard to get on others' versions
> > of that list.
> >
> > Samantha Atkins is on the list. She can hold her own - against the entire
> > list, if necessary - because, like Anders Sandberg and Nick Bostrom... and
> > myself... and others... she's made a deliberate study of rationality.
> > Look to your own mental integrity, not to hers.
> If she has, she surely has not displayed it. In her latest 'asshole'
> post (I was not aware that frequent use of that word was a sign of a
> rational person), she directly ignored my point, as she has in most of
> my other posts, primarly, it seems, because she has absolutely no
> rational basis to oppose my arguments in those instances but was too
> arrogant to admit it.

As you have said many times, "I call them like I see them". I
have attempted to engage you in rational dialog only to recieve
insults, ignored lines of reasoning and so on much too often in
return. I apologize for calling you an "asshole" because it is
below my standards to do so. But I do not apologize for
pointing out that you are behaving badly and certainly have
earned no right to call me to task.

> Samantha and others claim that the US needs to start listening to the
> rest of the world, and shaping its policy more in line with the way the
> rest of the world thinks it should be. Since Samantha opened the
> argument to profanity, I shall continue it with a hearty "fuck that".
> The US did not get where it is today as the preeminent economic,
> military, and cultural power in the world, while concurrently having the
> most free society on earth, by doing things the way others thought we
> should do them. We did it OUR way, the way we knew in our hearts to be
> best, not just for us, but for the world, and as a result, the world has
> gotten through the age of nuclear brinksmanship in far better shape than
> I'll bet would have occured if any other power had been in our place.
> Ideas like individual liberty and democratic/republican values are the
> pre-eminent ideas in politics around the world today specifically
> because of us. This didn't happen by us letting others tell us how
> things should be.

Tell it to Allende. What often did not act as we know is best.
Period. To claim otherwise in light of what has been unearthed
of CIA operations alone cannot be called anything other than
dishonest. We haven't given a rat's ass for the democratically
elected leadership of other countries in too many instances if
that leadership would not play ball with us and whatever
interests (general commercial) we supported. Or do you think
the CIA was prohibited from being in the assasination business
in 1981 for no reason at all?

> Those around the world who want to start telling us how things should be
> done do so specifically because their own power is threatened by our
> principles and influence. They are supporting terrorism specifically
> because it is the best technique designed to date for getting large
> masses of civilians to question their principles, at a cost that is
> smaller than most any other.

That is an outrageous claim. Here is an alternative. When you
are oppressed by the biggest bully around and you have no means
of fighting back on the bully's terms, some will use whatever
means they can find to strike back.

It is not our principles that we practice in our own country
that are the problem. It is that we do not export them well and
often do not act on them when it comes to other countries. We
must question whether our practice abroad is in keeping with
those principles you and I both admire. I believe that in many
cases it has not been so and is not so today.

> At the very least, those who want to tell us what to do do so because
> they are reacting against the growing influence of American culture
> around the world. Whether it is fast food, movies, books, or the
> influence of science and technology, the rest of the world is being
> bootstrapped at a far faster rate than we have experienced here in the
> US, and larger percents of the populations in those countries are
> reacting against such bootstrapping.

There is some truth in this but it is far from the whole story
or even the most significant part of why the US is disliked in
so many countries.

- samantha

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