Re: Qualia feel good?

From: justin corwin (
Date: Wed Jul 07 2004 - 06:13:47 MDT

On Wed, 7 Jul 2004 19:37:26 +0800, Metaqualia <> wrote:
> >How do you know animals feel pain? The same pain people do? They don't talk.
> I need two tools to prove your reasoning isn't sound: a gag and a baseball
> bat :)

Can we try to cut down on the smirky one line replies that don't
really address the previous post? I pick on this one here because it's
particularly egregious, but it's been rather emblematic of the list of
late for people to snipe pickily at each other.

Yes, people are animals, very droll. But not exactly contentful. Eugen
made several other more interesting points in the last email, which
are dissapointingly ignored.

I don't know that I side particularly on the qualia issue with either
set of posters, but I think it's quite clear that it doesn't seem to
be progressing very much. I'm not the List Sniper, but I think the
discussion should probably be redefined and continued under new
auspices, or shelved, for the time being.

It's interesting to note, that even under the best of circumstances,
there are people who think that people are moving too fast and
dismissing possibilities out of hand, and those who think the process
is already waiting too long, and giving too much creedence to minority
or unlikely propositions.

There are lots of proposed solutions to satisficing a differential set
of expectations in environments like email lists. The more scientific
and efficiency minded tend to tinker and suggest automated debating
systems, mod or authority systems, work flow engines, and the like.

More holistic, or concerned folk suggest points of order, hierarchies
of judges, social conventions, and so on.

I've never seen any, even some of the ones I've invented and worked on
myself that I was convinced would work in any real way except by
self-selecting for people who were so focused on getting it to work
that a group consisting of only such people would have worked anyway,
system or no. Which may not be a bad solution, in a pragmatic sense.

But that's very unsatisfying. I get the feeling that there ought to be
a way to make these email lists work for us, so to speak, rather than
becoming sinks of time.

Maybe the answer is having clear expectations and comparisons of the
overlap and differenes between those and other people's.

I read SL4 because on average it's quieter and more focused on the
kind of things I'm interested in. It's a relatively exclusive
membership, and with some exceptions, it doesn't have posts on it that
make me wince with sympathy for whatever poor fool gets sucked into a
well established basic point or quagmire.

I like the posts and conversations that quickly summarize and present
the positions and data behind them for interesting or unresolved kinds
of questions in AI, Cognitive Theory, futurism, and other core topics.
I like shocking and clever posts. I like posts that have little
mention of their authors personally, unless the author is somehow
involved in the story or is part of the subject being discussed. The
issue should be separatable from the combatants. I like posts that I
can't immediately tell who is writing the message by the point or
structure. A really good argument is independent.

A possible exception to this is Samantha, because I can always tell
it's her by the formatting. (but I still like some of her posts!)

I don't like posts that are repetitive, either within themselves, or
in the larger thread or conversation. If you've made a point, and
someone adds something else to the discussion, please don't write a
post reiterating your previous point because the other person had
their turn, and it's your turn to talk more now. We all read the last
email. Your argument didn't get any better in the meantime. It worked
or didn't. (This goes for people who are right also. The truth can
also be boring.)

I don't like boring rivalries. I dont' know what the resolution is
here. But many a time, I've wished that two duelists would either just
give up and start screaming obscenities at each other, or grown some
manners. I have no idea which would be more entertaining, but I know
which would be more universally appealing. Please don't get worked up
or dumb, it's just email.

I don't like vague handwaving, or "I guess"es without new information,
or guiding value.

Those are the largest and most recent issues I can think of. And I
admit I don't know how universally they are shared amongst list
membership. But maybe if we can determine what the list membership
/does/ want. We can step towards that. And get less killthreads and
complaining rants by lurkers and list readers about their precious
bandwidth and dilution of favored info watering holes. :-)

Justin Corwin

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