[ExI] META: Off-topic discussions

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun May 17 20:07:47 UTC 2009

Stefano earlier wrote

 > As in many cases, the exchange is interesting,
 > but what all that would have to do with the list topic?

and most recently

> On Sun, May 17, 2009 at 4:48 PM, Harvey Newstrom
> <mail at harveynewstrom.com> wrote:
>> I wonder this myself every time this topic cycles around on this list.  There
>> is obviously some connection to transhumanism in some people's minds, based on
>> the frequency of its appearance here.
> Basically, *everything* IMHO is potentially connected to transhumanism
> one way or another, but my point is that very often we discuss various
> subjects here, be it in interesting and pleasant ways, without
> connecting them to transhumanism or extropy at all... :-)

I think you are quite correct. For example, discussing
the genetic differences between human groups relates
both to group selection, memetic infestation, and so
on, and indeed is of such broad evolutionary concern
that the same issues will play a part in any post-human

But to analyze, say, the causes of anti-Jewishness
does strike me as clearly less relevant (though, as
you say, it would not be too surprising if someone
could make a valid connection).

In any case, I made a throwaway remark, and then
someone asked me for a full opinion, and I wandered
into a defense of Jews, partly to make sure that
our posts are not grossly misinterpreted.

> Let us say that I like Beethoven music (as in fact I do, btw).
> Shouldn't I make an effort to clarify why I decided to raise a
> discussion thereupon *in this list*, if I choose to do so, or what its
> (alleged) relevance to the list topics might be?

That's probably a good rule, though people will
find it very difficult to follow, given the
informal nature of the exchanges here.


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