[ExI] agency-based personal identity

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Tue Jun 26 16:22:00 UTC 2007

On 6/25/07, Thomas Oliver <thomas at thomasoliver.net> wrote:

> I guess this highlights our divergent views on compulsion.  I discriminate
> between voluntary response and obligation driven compulsion.
> I encourage you to respond to "seeking minds," but not to feel personally
> obligated to provide me with the "higher level" view.

Thomas, when I said I "felt compelled" to address that issue, it was
in a sense similar to saying I "felt compelled" to help tourists lost
in a train station in a foreign land. I use that analogy because I
often felt and acted so while living in Japan, to help tourists who I
noticed appeared disoriented.  I felt compelled in the sense of
expressing my values, making the world a little better, rather than in
terms of any (clearly non-existent) contract or other form of

As for the possibility of pedagogical condescension and resultant
offense implied in your statement, I had no such intention whatsoever,
and as I indicated, my contributions to the public discourse are with
our few hundred lurkers in mind.

As a somewhat related aside:
On a list where rationality is an overt high value, I find it somewhat
unnecessary and distracting when social niceties are appended to a
post (as Jeffrey seems to be doing lately.)  While I don't subscribe
to the opposite extreme of "Crocker's Rules", I tend to take
intelligence, mutual respect and good humor for granted, not needing
ongoing reinforcement and reassurance.  In this regard, with certain
individuals, I am clearly lacking.

- Jef

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