Wildgrowing threads

Lyle Burkhead (LYBRHED@delphi.com)
Sat, 16 Nov 1996 03:15:41 -0500 (EST)

Max Moeller writes,

> I don't wanna start a thread about something obvious
> that you allready are *done* discussing.

Well, consider Ray Peck's comment last Wednesday:

> BTW, I find David's posts probably the most interesting and
> thought provoking currently on the list. That may be because
> I've been on the list for over 5 years, so I've seen most everything else
> rehashed 12 times already! ;-) But I don't think so. Kudos.

I have some threads in the works that should generate some sparks
(for example - "The Fuzzy Logic of Race"), but I am disheartened
at the prospect of going around the same predictable circles, yet again.
These discussions have no structure and arrive at no conclusion.
"Wildgrowing" is an apt description.

On the other hand, even wildgrowing threads bear fruit. I certainly
agree that the TWA flight has been beaten to death, but even here an
interesting point emerged. I was struck by Mike Lorrey's statement

> I was the key witness in a case in which two female airmen
> framed a male airman with such claims. If I had not overheard them
> talking about it beforehand, his life would be over.

and truly taken aback by James Rogers's confirmation,

> I saw this twice in my relatively short military career.
> I too was witness in one incident that the charges were intentionally
> fabricated.

Wow. I would never have been aware that this was happening
if I hadn't taken the trouble to follow this prolix thread. I have
given up on the list as a philosophical forum but it still has its uses.
As David Musick wrote tonight,

> My quality writings are an excercise for my mind, to develop
> high quality, very articulate thinking.

Yep. The way to be a writer is to write, and this is as good a place
as any to practice. But there is no use doing this (or anything else)
halfway. Posts written without discipline are a waste of everybody's
time, not least the writer's. (But of course everybody will think
this latter remark must apply to someone other than himself.)

Whatever Extropians think, there is such a thing as real art, and
there are real standards of logical structure and cogency in prose.
In the absence of an editor to set and enforce such standards,
Gresham's law will ultimately prevail.

Bob Grahame writes,

> Anyone here read Matt Ridley's "The Origin of Virtue" yet?

I saw an excerpt from it in FT and have been eagerly awaiting
its appearance in the bookstores. From the little bit I read, this is
definitely something that has not been rehashed 12 times.