RE: META: Molloy (was: Friendly AI)

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Nov 25 2000 - 06:35:59 MST

Well Eliezer, I don't love discussions about discussions about discussions
about discussions...
but I can't resist chipping in here...

I personally find your "Bzzzzzzzt!" strategy of moderation slightly
offputting, but not nearly
enough so to sign off the list, given that the discussion is fairly

My own taste would be, if I were in your position and I
wanted to reduce someone's postings that I perceived as irrelevant
or unproductive, to do so in a somewhat more low-key and less autocratic

First, I would make the request more informally.
All you had to do in this case was ask J.R. to be a little less flippant and
thoughtful in his posts, if that's what you wanted, rather than openly
calling them "the most
intellectually sterile posts of anyone I've ever known." Frankly, that's
not very nice ;>

Second, if this didn't work, I would ask the person the same thing
in a PRIVATE e-mail, in stronger terms.

Finally, if that didn't work, I would ban the person from the list. (Which
sometimes really is
necessary in order to keep a list on-topic and reasonably articulate, as
I've seen on other lists.)

Those who know me well, would laugh at me trying to pass myself off as a
master of social tact.
But I think that, in spite of being a misfit at heart, I've learned a bit
about politics from
helping run a business for the last few years....

Personally I'm not as down on Molloy's and Spudboy's posts as you are,
either -- I see Molloy as
acting in the tradition of the Trickster, subverting and contradicting
whatever is said, sometimes
in obvious ways, occasionally in less obvious ones.... With very high
frequency this would get
exasperating, but so far, it's amused me more often ..

I certainly sympathize with your desire to use this and other lists to make
genuine conceptual progress,
rather than just to randomly chat. On the other hand, a certain amount of
noise & chaos is necessary
to stimulate conceptual progress -- as is an attitude of openness and
creativity, which "Bzzzzzt!"
does not necessarily foster.

Finally, I too appreciate you having set up this list, as this is the most
interesting e-mail discussion
I've had for a while (excepting internal Webmind Inc. ones)

-- ben

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:35 MDT