Re: the practical implications of arrogance [META]

From: Michael Roy Ames (
Date: Wed Jun 02 2004 - 23:50:25 MDT

Ben Goertzel, you wrote:
> Being an arrogant jerk and a excellent scientist
> or philosopher is not contradictory. Being an
> arrogant jerk when you're trying to raise funds
> to help you save the world, is not intelligent,
> because you're asking people to trust you for
> more than just science and philosophy, you're
> asking them to trust you with their lives.

I agreed with the statements you made in this paragraph when I first read
them. However, on further reflection, I am not so sure that they will turn
out to be true. There may be counter-intuitive value in harbouring an
obnoxious, outlandish character in the midst of a more serious group. It
could easily be spin-doctored in a way that acquires additional donors.
Such a situation may offend my habitually earnest frame of mind, but am far
from certain that having everyone 'be nice' is optimal to achieving SIAI's
goals. Better for people to be who they actually are and get the job done,
than waste energy pretending to be who you are not and delay progress.

That said, I have a request for Eliezer, in reference to the following SL4
posting guideline:

"Flames: I have no objection to flames, but flames aren't allowed to be
boring. Biting sarcasm and witty insults, please - not four-letter-words
used as punctuation."

Your more recent flames have been repetitive, and as such a bit boring.
Please don't lower the standard of this fine list by posting anything less
than your best & most creative broad-sides. Thank you. ;)

Michael Roy Ames

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