RE: Ad hominem? I think not.

From: jeff davis (
Date: Wed Nov 21 2001 - 23:11:37 MST

--- Harvey Newstrom <> wrote:
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote,
> > We're supposed to be smarter than this.
> The above factor has been one the most depressing
> considerations in my life
> for the last few years. I have fantasies that a
> group of higher
> intelligence can form and accomplish great things.
> However, the history of
> this and other groups seems to prove otherwise.

I agree with you, Harvey. However, I find it somewhat
surprising that no attempt to find a solution has been
set in motion. A solution which, IMO, is neither
difficult nor onerous.

The list supposedly has rules as to what is and is not
allowed, but enforcement is all but non-existent. It
seems to me that the ambitions of the Extropy
Institute--more specifically Max, Greg, Natasha, et
al, ie, those who have invested huge parts of there
life to make ExI what it is, and to make its mark in
the world--are being sacrificed--at least here on the
list--by a failure on the part of the list "owners" to
enforce a minimum standard of courtesy/respect (dare I
say "adult" behavior).

I've noted that Damien, Harvey, Lee Daniel, and
Eliezer have all commented CAREFULLY about the
character of John Clark's discourse in his
back-and-forth with Samantha. Too carefully, in my
opinion. John's posts have been, simply put, abusive,
and he should have been censured the moment he started
with the "puke, spewage, idiot, etc" language.

The responsibility for the destruction of the
reputation of ExI, and of the list and all its
participants does not, however, rest with John Clark,
but with the list owners and their failure to insist
on and enforce a standard of respect for the discourse
in this forum.

I call for the list owners to look at the list, assess
the problem, and work toward a solution. Those who
are unwilling or unable to control their
disruptive/destructive impulses must not be allowed,
under a misguided conception of "freedom of
speech"--freedom requires self-discipline and a
respect for the reciprocal rights of others--to
destroy what others have built or are trying to build.

I hate to get preachy, but this is an old, clear,
well-defined problem--ill-mannered behavior--with a
straightforward solution: a policy with teeth: behave
or be gone.

Let's discuss how this is to be done, and then DO IT.

It's time for the list needs to grow to the next

Best, Jeff Davis

 "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                       Ray Charles


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