Re: New Revisions, New Home

From: Mitch Howe (
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 00:35:31 MST

Damien Broderick wrote:

> Academic discourse, which I think the web site somewhat mimics (at least
> trying for some measure of rigor), uses surnames. To a stray searcher
> truth, all those `Mr.' Yudkowskys will look disturbingly deferential. And
> note that despite your claim to be following NYT usage, you haven't
> answered my explicit question why nobody else got the treatment.

Well, Eliezer was the only one to get the "treatment" because his was the
only name to appear more than once in the main body of the text. NYT usage
only applies Mr. on second and subsequent uses.
(Gordon Worley appears a second time, but only in the suggested readings
section, where I used first and last names for all.)

Deferential? Sure! That FAQ is intended as a charter document for the
Church of the Singularity (Reformed), with "Mr." Yudkowsky as our noble
founder, a la L. Ron Hubbard. . . Just kidding, of course, although I
wouldn't mind the tax exempt status.

I suppose it would be easy enough to drop all the Misters. For some reason,
repeatedly referring to people by just one name has always seemed to me like
something best saved for athletes, musicians, and dead thinkers. (Of
course, Mr. Yudkowsky would need to be martyred at some point to give a
Church of the Singularity any kind of credibility... )

> I know, I know, it's an incredibly trivial point. But people will be
> reading this stuff, and it's best to fine tune to minimize doubt and easy
> jibes.

As an aspiring young writer I am flattered by your confidence, your Baron
Lord Esquireness.


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