[extropy-chat] Panicmongering (was Psychology of investments in infrastructure)

Lee Corbin lcorbin at tsoft.com
Sun Jun 25 19:22:02 UTC 2006

Russell wrote (sent on June 21, 10:07)

> My countersuggestion, to put it bluntly and pardon the 
> French if you're a religious man, is that those of us 
> who are rational enough to know better - yes, that 
> means you Spike! - cut out the bullshit panicmongering; 

Panicmongering?  Just whom are you so afraid will be panicked?
Yourself? Probably not, if I may be so bold to guess. You 
are probably worried that some here of less discernment than
yourself may panic.

> it may seem like harmless fun,

It did not appear to be made in the spirit of any kind of fun,
but rather in deadly earnest.

> but the end result of panic is ham-fisted attempts at
> protecting against minor or imaginary dangers,

Well! Whether the dangers are minor or imaginary is *exactly* what is
debatable; you can let the reader judge for himself or herself, don't
you think?

If a gifted engineer chooses to speculate on possible vulnerabilities
of rapid transit systems, that's just fine with me. I can choose to
believe it plausible, or not. I can choose to argue with the specifics
of it or not. I could even choose to skip those posts.

> Sir, be ashamed. More importantly: _stop_.

Oh, that is the last straw!  Now, far be it from me to tell _you_
to stop, but, on the other hand, I wish to encourage any rational
and well-thought out scenarios of just about anything by anybody.
(Again I can always choose to skip those posts, or debate them.)

What I *am* afraid of, here, is that some of the technically strongest
contributors may on this forum come to think that their thoughts are
unappreciated. It is even doubly true if a "credentialed" person such
as a doctor wishes to discuss bird flu (even in graphic terms which
personally appall *you*), or a space scientist wishes to talk about
asteroid impacts, and opine that the risks are overwhelming unless
something is done. I'll even listen to people saying that we must
wreck the economy, in order to save it from global warming.

But what I am *not* afraid of, and never have been, is thoughtfully
presented ideas.


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