[extropy-chat] Appropriate List Content - meaning of ignorance...

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Wed Apr 6 04:19:34 UTC 2005

--- Mike Lorrey <mlorrey at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I'm pretty well versed in the English language, and i don't ever
> recall
> a 'should not' being part of the definition of 'ignore'.

Perhaps I misstated it: the "should not" is a logical consequence of
the "ignore".  As in, on this list, do not invoke them, and for most
cases pretend they do not exist - an obvious (to me and to most people)
corrolary of which is that one should not make entire threads about

> Depends. In some cases it might be a marked benefit to them to be
> booted. In others, other list members are harmed by a reduction in
> exposure to a diversity of ideas.

Reduction in diversity of ideas seems to be a feature common in most
successful (i.e., do not degenerate into useless noise) forums for
communication.  One might well investigate why that is so - but let's
leave the channel to discuss the results, using that which we know
works until we know if the new method works.  Else we'll get nowhere

> Lets see, this list has discussed psychic phenomena as a product of
> scientific study before (Damien) and I also recall a controversial
> study from years ago in Discover looking at world leaders and the
> incidence of their birt on days of eclipses or when
> sun/moon/significant planets were on the horizon or directly
> overhead.

Both of which were, IMO, also off-topic.  Noise breeds noise.

> We look at scientific ideas of action-at-a-distance on a regular
> basis,

Which are proven to work - at least somewhat.

> and idea futures are regularly discussed (a form of prophesy) and the
> Policy Futures Market was created by one of our members.

Idea futures are collaborative predictions, based on what a whole lot
of people know, with a financial incentive not to use data they don't
think they can trust.  Prophecies are more often what one individual
thinks is likely to happen, based on factors that are usually
irrelevant, often with more of an incentive to be dramatic than
accurate.  Based on that alone, the former seems inherently more

> How is a prophet any different from a futurist who won't explain his
> reasons?

Because we don't know the futurist isn't using methods which have
proven very likely to be bogus.  Of course, the futurist is still
suspect, given the significant possibility the futurist is merely
uttering prophecy: one of the core elements of science is that people
share their methods so that the methods can be verified.

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