Re: META: Posting resumes tomorrow

From: Philip Sutton (
Date: Fri Jun 11 2004 - 20:30:22 MDT

Hi Eliezer,

> I'd like to ask that we all make an exception to the usual SL4 list
> rules and deliberately try to be polite to one another and avoid
> stepping on toes.

I think this is a really good idea. My feeling is that you have
rediscovered why people invented politeness (which includes some
degree of humility) in the first place. It's to avoid triggering flare ups
like we had - especially when such flare ups may not just be cyclical
phenomena but might lead to permanent damage to communication or

> Afterward, things can go back to normal.

I would seriously reconsider this idea. If politeness is useful in
preventing flare ups who has enough wisdom (and authority) to know
that about 'now' is the time to reintroduce politeness to head off a flare
up that has not yet happened? You said yourself:

> I had no idea that was going to happen, and it illustrates the
> difficulty of predicting the future even in simple matters; too many
> unintended consequences.

Given that we have just proven to ourselves the potentially damaging
effects of rudeness (insensitivity?) is there anything that is so routinely
damaging about politeness (sensitivity) that we would rather run the risk
of the occasional (and, rarely, terminal) flare up?

Why not run an experiment for 6 months and try politieness (and a
modicum of humility) for the whole time and see if the intellectual
output seems noticably less?

Cheers, Philip

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