From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun Apr 07 2002 - 10:33:44 MDT

> Good luck, but while I can't speak for Ben, my advice to you
> would be not to
> take his attention for granted - he's doing you a favor if he listens to
> your ideas, you're not doing him a favor by sharing them.

My view is a little different. I don't think of either sharing or listening
in terms of "doing favors."

I am grateful to people who've read what I've written, though; and I also
think some of my books have done others favors, in a sense, by waking them
up to aspects of science or reality that they previously only dimly

My favorite experience like this was as follows. When I left Western
Australia for the US in 1997, I left a terrible mess in the house I'd been
renting. I got an e-mail about 6 months later from the guy who'd moved into
the house after I'd moved out. He said that, among all the mess, he'd found
a manuscript of mine in the house -- it was a draft version of "The
Unification of Science and Spirit," which is on my website and which I'm
really not very happy with (maybe I'll rewrite it one day). He said it had
totally changed his life and opened his mind up to new perspectives on
himself and the world. This kind of muted my mild guilt about having left
behind a trashed house ;>

Anyway, I generally enjoy dialogues with others: for the intrinsic
(hardwired?) pleasure of communicating with others, for what I learn from
them, and for what I learn myself from formulating my ideas for others'

However, of course, some dialogues are more useful & productive than others.
Most intellectual dialogues I have seem to thin out after a few months,
unless there is some common work project involved providing new meat for

Our dialogue, Eliezer, is one of a handful of exceptions I've experienced:
we're not working together on a project, and yet our dialogue has not yet
become boring ;). I suppose this is because we're working in parallel on
related projects, so we are both continually making new discoveries
enriching our own perspectives.

ben g

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