[extropy-chat] On Gut Feelings

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Jan 14 16:21:34 UTC 2006

On 1/14/06, Jack Parkinson wrote:
> Just my opinion: But moderation might be (could be):
> Anything goes - provided it has an extropian angle.
> Politics, religion and sexual preference are exclusively the preserve and
> prerogative of the writer. Respect them.
> Although you may seriously doubt the mental health of the poster - you may
> attack the concept/proposition as outlined in the post ONLY on reasoned,
> rational grounds. Under NO circumstances will you resort to pejorative
> labelling: ie, telling the author s/he is crazy/commie/anarchist/etc etc, or
> otherwise attempt to discredit the person rather than the argument. If you
> do so - you will get moderated out of the discussion forthwith.
> If you find something offensive - you may protest by stating: "I find this
> offensive because...reason 1)...2)...3) etc. You may then choose to have
> nothing further to do with either the subject or the poster. You do NOT have
> the right to demand that the moderator support your world-view - no matter
> how worthy it is - by suppressing a poster who is able to present a cogent
> argument contrary to your principles. (rubbishy, rantings, ravings and
> vilifications can be trashed of course)
> I know that the downside of this is that you have to put up with a certain
> amount of lunatic fringe activity. But the consequence of not adopting some
> such rule set is that free speech is the preserve of some inner elite who
> perpetually reserve the right to quash dissent.
> Free speech needs the odd crackpot to reassure us all that the system is
> working.

Most of what you wrote sounds pretty sensible.

But 'Free speech' does not necessarily mean 'Free Speech *here*'.
There is the whole WWW out there, millions of sites, mail lists,
chatrooms, etc. Every fanatic and his dog have places where they can
discuss their concerns as much as they like. You are surely not
recommending that everything out there should be allowed to post
through 'our' list?
('our' list could refer to every individual list on the Internet).

Every list has allowable content. If you fail to control content then
the meaning of the list is lost and the list will become useless.
Nobody will read it because of the 99% rubbish off-topic content.

I agree that here 'Anything goes - provided it has an extropian
angle.'  But that would ban Stalinist whitewashing and recommendations
of how to use transhumanist technologies to achieve an ideal
'Stalinist-type' controlled society. Just as it would ban many other
topics of no relevance to extropianism. You cannot make a list of
banned subjects, because the list would be enormous. It is down to the
moderators to shape the list according to the list objectives.
Occasional off-topic posts do little harm, but once a propagandist
arrives with their own agenda, then they must be stopped for the good
of the list.

There is no point in having a list where all the interesting people
leave because of the amount of garbage (as defined by the list
objectives) that is allowed to flow through the list.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list