[ExI] META: A modest proposal for the Extropy-Chat list

Max More max at maxmore.com
Tue Apr 28 23:19:21 UTC 2009

I believe that Spike will be back in regular email contact sometime 
next week. Until then, I suggest we table any direct discussion of 
the moderation of Lee Corbin. (As I said before, it's my 
understanding that Lee is indeed on moderation and has not been 
"expelled". Use of the term "booted" or "expelled" is unhelpful 
because it fails to distinguish between these two possibilities.)

In the meantime, this issue -- and I don't pretend to have read 
anything close to every post by Lee recently (though I certainly 
value his contributions in general) -- raises again the question of 
how best to manage this list according to the purposes for which is 
was created early last decade, and for which it still exists. 
Personally, as a co-owner of this list, I feel internal conflict. One 
the one hand, I don't like to suppress vigorous debate on 
controversial and troubling topics (such as forcibly relocating 
people of a certain religious belief). On the other, this list -- to 
retain its unique flavor -- should cleave reasonably closely to the 
Principles of Extropy. One of those, you may recall, says something 
about Self-Direction which, in my mind, is not remotely compatible 
with forced relocation of people who hold stupid beliefs (and, 
frankly, Muslim beliefs ARE stupid and dangerous) but do nothing 
coercive in pursuit of those beliefs.

What to so? I do think that we face an overwhelming amount of digital 
"stuff" and quite reasonably want to focus our discussions. Requiring 
some basic level of adherence to the Principles of Extropy on this 
particular list seems quite reasonable to me. (And I don't believe 
anyone could demonstrate dictatorial behavior from me. EVER.)

Rather than an "either-or solution", perhaps we can develop a 
workable and productive "and" solution. In barest form, that would 
mean moderating this list -- probably a little *more* vigorously than 
we have historically -- while creating a new list. The new list, 
perhaps named "Extropy-Controversial" or "Extropy-Unmoderated" would 
be the place to take all discussions which the moderators deem 
unsuitable to Extropy-Chat. Each message might carry a note saying 
that the posts to the list cannot be taken as representative of 
extropian transhumanism.

How exactly this might work, I'm not sure. For instance, at what 
point should moderators move such discussions to the other list? What 
penalty should there be for those who contravene the policy and 
insist on posting inappropriately to the current list? Those kinds of 
questions should be discussed here.

I'm wary of raising these issues now, while Spike is apparently away 
from the List for a few days (or perhaps has limited access), since 
he has -- at cost and no reward to himself -- recently been the main 
moderator of the List, and I don't want to burden him with catching 
up on a potentially vigorous discussion. However, the public inquiry 
and a couple of private inquiries about the status of Lee Corbin have 
prompted these thoughts.

So, regarding the possibility of:

...what are your thoughts?


Max More, Ph.D.
Strategic Philosopher
max at maxmore.com 

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