[extropy-chat] Rotary animation in New Nanotech book by Josh Hall

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Tue May 31 18:52:49 UTC 2005

--- Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> At 07:26 PM 5/30/2005 -0700, Gina "Nanogirl" Miller wrote:
> >I received my copy of 
> >by J. Storrs Hall, PhD which is the first book to include an image
> >of my first technical animation Rotary.
> Congratulations!
> >Mr. Hall has published many papers
> Indeed he has, but since he holds a PhD I believe that should make
> JoSH *Dr.* Hall, no? Although I've noticed American usage is a bit
> random in this regard.

Depends on the circumstances. I understand that, Damien being in an
academic environment, is used to calling colleagues doctor, and
certainly expecting students to do so. Generally, here in the US, we
first pay attention to the preferences of the person holding the
degree, if we know them. Many such people dislike being called 'Doctor'
by friends and/or colleagues, particularly when outside the academic
setting. Even in the medical field, friends of mine who are medical
doctors prefer first name usage, while I call any such "Doc" at the
least when I am in the hospital seeking health care.

We have the Constitutional prohibition against titles of nobility here,
so it is a long standing cultural bias against formal and consistent
use of even earned titles like Doctor, Esquire, "Your Honor"/Judge,
various military officer ranks, or even Senator or Congressman,
particularly outside the professional milieu in which those titles have

The idea is that the title only means something within the milieu it
refers to, like a Judge only has judicial immunity within the courtroom
or otherwise in his official capacity as a public servant, he isn't a
public servant when not on the clock, he is a private citizen and no
more or less deserving of special treatment than anyone else. Using
titles outside the professional milieu is a matter of age differential
and degree of familiarity and respect one has for the titled person, as
well as the setting (i.e. introducing at a formal event vs greeting at
a backyard barbecue.)

In this respect, it can easily be said that we have the very sort of
de-equalizing complex rules of social etiquette for professional titles
that we sought to get away from by eliminating titles of nobility from
our society.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 
Blog: http://intlib.blogspot.com

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