[extropy-chat] META: "Killthread": Is it censorship or sensible?

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Mon Apr 30 14:52:37 UTC 2007

It was called to my attention that there have been some problems on the 
list.  Since I am not a moderator I have not followed the thread on this 
and since I have been travelling for several weeks, I did not know there 
was a problem. But because we share this list as a venue to discuss and 
challenge ideas, I think that we all need to take a look at this:

From: Eugen Leitl 
<<http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat>eugen at 

 >> On Mon, Apr 23, 2007 at 01:53:25PM +1000, Brett Paatsch wrote:
 > >John Grigg wrote:
 > >
 > > Attempting to impeach the current president is not a realistic plan
 > >
 > > Why would you think that?
 > Folks, killthread. This is completely off-topic for the list.

Brett responded:

"Eugen, just so you and I are absolutely clear. If you kill this thread, or 
call for it to be killed again. If your are that censorious, I will 
remember it and hold it against you whilst you and I live. I would oppose 
your reanimation. I will regard you as in the aggregate an entropic vector.

I am willing to be censored off the list, it is a private list after all, 
but actions (like censorship) are facts that shape reactions. Being a 
person in a world of persons, I take things personally. Fair warning.

If I am censored off the list I would take that as diagnostic of the

degeneration of the list.  It is one thing to take issue with a persons

arguments and say so. It is another to stop other people from hearing

those arguments and expressing their reactions which may include

opposition to them. I regard censorship as a form of killing - as do

you by the use of your word killthread.

You are yourself a transient information thread that the universe

has yet to rule on."

Like Brett I do not like being censored.  But there is a difference between 
being censored and being sensible.  The extropy list does have rules and 
guidelines and list members are required to follow them in order to post on 
this list.  Whether or not Brett's thread is on topic for this list is one 
issue at stake.  Now, there are many variables involved that can add one 
way or another such as a post may be a topic the list members want to 
engage in but it is not a transhumanist topic per se.  Or, it can be a 
topic that is curious for list members but the way in which it is presented 
to the list, or the language used or implications of the meaning of the 
posts can cause a moderator to request that the thread be put to 
rest.  These variables are important to pay attention to.

Further, and not totally unrelated, I was censored from the Cryonics list 
when I was being an activist to help a fellow cryonicist.  Now this was 
truly strange and frankly made me think much less of cryonicists than I had 
prior.  But I also understood that it touched a nerve with other list 
members and I did not take it personally, retaliate, or blame them.  I 
belive that I was in the wrong for not paying attention to the feelings of 
other list members.  I was too busy to read responses, and that was also my 
mistake.  I was so driven to do something worthwhile that it backfired on me.

I see what you (Brett) are doing as something different but sharing some 
similarities.  You posted on a topic that you are passionate about.  The 
difference with you and me is that you are blaming and making accusations 
and insulting list members.  I would not do this because even if people do 
not agree with me, I do my best to accept the differences.  You are also 
different than me in the way you handled this.  Instead of approaching the 
topic from a constructive inclusive manner, you made assumptions and 
accusations.  This never sits well with list members.

And, finally, I do not like is the content of your (Brett) response to the 
list moderator (Eugene) requesting that the thread be killed.  You made a 
threat and does not sit well with me and I'm sure others.  But putting that 
aside, what do other list members think of this thread?

Lastly, I do think this is a topic that warrants objective examination and 
search for resolution.  I invite you to think about this.

In hopes of resolution rather than slamming doors,


<http://www.natasha.cc/>Natasha <http://www.natasha.cc/>Vita-More
PhD Candidate, <http://www.planetary-collegium.net/about/>Planetary Collegium
Proactionary Principle Core Group, <http://www.extropy.org/>Extropy 
Member, <http://www.profuturists.com/>Association of Professional Futurists
Founder, <http://www.transhumanist.biz/>Transhumanist Arts & Culture
Advisory Committee, <http://www.pietronigro.com/zgac/>Zero Gravity Arts 

If you draw a circle in the sand and study only what's inside the circle, 
then that is a closed-system perspective. If you study what is inside the 
circle and everything outside the circle, then that is an open system 
perspective. - Buckminster Fuller

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