Re: META: Dead horses

Anders Sandberg (
01 Dec 1999 13:58:54 +0100

"Harvey Newstrom" <> writes:

> Unfortunately, this is a common pattern for Extropians. We cannot debate
> any area of serious disagreement. Qualia, guns, abortion, homosexuality,
> the copy question, Privately Produce Law, politics, mysticism, etc. have all
> been banned at various times because useful debate was not possible. I'm
> sure many more examples could be found by going through the archives.
> How useful can this list be if debate fails upon any real difference of
> opinion? How can we debate or disagree while maintaining useful dialog?

A friend explained to me the difference between a discourse and a discussion: a discussion ends with some kind of conclusion or last word, the discourse just continues (ideally refining the concepts, making everybody participating and listening learn more). I think this fits in with what Lee Daniel Crocker said. However, it is not good if the same issues are rehashed indefinitely (no knowledge growth), or if people become so emotional that the debate does nothing but produce emotionality. If FAQs, collected hypertext mail archives or canons could be written, then the first problem could be ameliorated. If people could become better at controlling their emotional reactions or see their views with from the meta-level (after all, we are all transhumanists, aren't we?) or develop list-institutions to dampen the worst mood-swings then we could likely improve the amount of knowledge production.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y