META: I strongly dislike the new list policy stated in Eliezer's new WIKI page

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sun May 30 2004 - 16:40:51 MDT


I do not like this new policy at all (stated in your WIKI page):

As an experiment, I am instituting the following policy on the SL4
mailing list:

None may argue on the SL4 mailing list about the output of the
collective volition, or what kind of world it will create, unless they
donate to the Singularity Institute:

$10 to argue for 48 hours.
$50 to argue for one month.
$200 to argue for one year.
$1000 to get a free pass until the Singularity.
Past donations count toward this total. It's okay to have fun, and
speculate, so long as you're not doing it at the expense of actually

To quote the character "Chosen" in the immortal classic film, Kung Pow,
"I implore you to reconsider."

I note that a presupposition of this policy is that the only valid way
to help the Singularity is to help SIAI in particular.

Among my practical issues with this policy:

1) Potentially, this policy would create two classes of posters on the
list: those who have donated to SIAI, who are allowed to discuss a
greater variety of issues; and those who have not donated to SIAI
(perhaps because they prefer to donate to a different organization with
a different approach to FAI), who are only allowed to participate in
some discussions.

2) This policy discriminates against individuals from third-world
countries, and impoverished people in first-world countries, for whom it
may not be feasible to donate money to the SIAI. In other words, the
"upper class" of posters will be biased to not include poor people.

My first reaction upon reading your announcement of this policy was that
I should withdraw from the list, rejoining only if the policy was
rescinded. But I don't want to be so reactionary as that. Because, I
do value some of the discussions on this list. And also, because I
consider it likely that this policy is a sort of joke on your part that
won't be enforced.

However, I will say this: If this policy is not rescinded, and
particularly if it is enforced, I might start to find it attractive to
start an alternate list ( for free discussions of the
Singularity without financial requirements and the ensuing creation of
multiple classes of posters. I note that I really do NOT want to do
this, as I have enough on my plate already.

-- Ben G

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