Re: Offending People's Minds

Sarah Marr (
Fri, 23 Aug 1996 21:44:04 +0100

At 15:53 24/08/96 GMT, Niklas Bostrom wrote:

> I have always liked the uncompromisingly objective way of
> thinking and speaking: the more counterintuitive and
> repugnant a formulation, the more it appeals to me given
> that it is logically correct.

Your clauses in this sentence appear incompatible. How can one speak in a
way which is uncompromisingly objective and yet intend to form clearly
subjective feelings of repugnance? What you are suggesting is enveloping the
statement of objective fact in a construct of subjective emotional influence.

>Take for example the following
> sentence:
> Blacks are more stupid than whites.

Case in point: it should be self-evident that this statement is bound to
create subjective responses.

> For most people, however, the sentence seems to be
> synonymous with:
> I hate those bloody niggers!!!!

Of course it is: 'stupid' is a highly emotive word. It is naive to believe
it could ever form part of a statement to be interpreted objectively.

> My point is that while speaking with the provocativness of
> unabashed objectivity would be appreciated by me and many
> other persons on this list...

Maybe it would be: but you're not being unabashedly objective. Objectiveness
is just as much defined by communication method as communication content.

> I think it is laudable if you accustom people to the
> offensiveness of truth, but be prepared that you may suffer
> some personal damage.

Unfortunately, I believe, we're not just talking about personal damage,
here. In the case of David Musick's post to B'Tennis we're talking about
possible collateral damage to Extropianism as a whole.


Sarah Kathryn Marr