Re: Crocker's Rules (WAS: Women, fire...)

phil osborn (
Sat, 09 Oct 1999 21:20:14 PDT

>Subject: Re: Crocker's Rules (WAS: Women, fire...)
>Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 10:26:53 -0700 (PDT)

>Even in the fabulous technofuture there will be a plurality of agents
>contending for relatively finite resources. Here's hoping that
>politeness, however imperfect and frustrating a tool it seems to be,
>remains in force -- without it it seems we will never transcend *social*
>pains like humiliation and hostility.
>Best, Dale

Why would we want to transcend them? Any more than "transcending" pain? These are valuable signals that give us a wealth of information about how our actions and their outcomes reflect our values and our capabilities in the real world - or the real virtual world.

I personally LIKE giving offense - to the right people. People who want to live lies and force me to cowtow to their fantasies by censoring my own views so as to be PC, for example. If those people get offended enough to leave or filter out my input, then I have accomplished something positive. As one of my heros - a woman, by the way - Maria Montessori, put it, "It is just as important and valuable to destroy a great evil as to create a great good."

In the libertarian movement of the mid-70's, when the major players were still young and active and things were still hopeful for an early revolution, the Association of Libertarian Feminists was formed. One of the first things they did was have a big debate - and a vote! - on whether libertarianism was in fact compatible with feminism, on the premise that if it wasn't, too bad for libertarianism... The embarrassing thing is that we didn't kick those sexist idiots out right at the start, but young guys are so horny that they will put up with almost anything.

Soon thereafter, these same women started volunteering to run everything and bringing in their friends, which meant the death of several once very stimulating and innovative libertarian supper clubs as real hard debate over issues got lost in the social noise level. Perhaps we should create dummy organizations just to attract such people and convince them what a wonderful job they are doing and generally keep them too busy to do real harm. Then we could have like an extropic Masons, the in-crowd, the real conspiracy to get things done. Or have I given away too much...

Get Your Private, Free Email at