From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 17:43:07 MDT
Xavier Lumine wrote:
> <<< Eliezer wrote:
> This list was created to provide a refuge for the best damned posts in the
> whole damned Solar System - or that, at any rate, is the ideal. This is
> not a list that is *supposed* to be easy to post to. It is a list that is
> supposed to be fun to read.
> In my post, I expressed my sentiment that I didn't want good posters scared
> off by imaginary standards boundaries. The quoted selection (above) from
> your recent post makes me wonder a bit about your outlook on other posters.
> I cannot agree with this unrealistic idealist mentality on a discussion
> list. Sorry.
My outlook on other posters is that not everyone will be able to post to
SL4, just as not everyone has enough writing ability to be published as a
science-fiction author or sell a nonfiction piece to a local newspaper.
The level of ability required is probably less than the former and greater
than the latter (newspapers' standards are pretty darn low). A mailing
list is usually a push format rather than a user-searched format, and so
it requires gatekeepers. The purpose of the gatekeepers is not to ensure
Transhumanist Correctness - after all, the very idea of a gatekeeper is
quite Transhumanistically Incorrect in the current community, much to
their detriment - but just to maintain writing quality. This extends
beyond spelling and punctuation into message coherence and ability to
follow a rational line of reasoning, but the ultimate standard is simply:
Can I read this without wincing? Can the other list members read this
without wincing? Or will they see it as the invasion of something that
they subscribed to SL4 to escape?
There has to be a refuge somewhere. There has to be somewhere where
people can go and post (only) intelligent messages and read (only)
intelligent messages. I don't believe in the idea of a gatekeeper as a
safeguard of accuracy - and neither, I expect, does anyone else who's had
to deal with a real journalist - but I do think that a gatekeeper who is a
good writer can be expected to ensure good writing, and that a gatekeeper
who is intelligent can be expected to ensure intelligence. Opinions on
SL4 are not my own opinions are most certainly not guaranteed to be
correct. But I will try to guarantee that anyone can browse the mailing
list without wincing.
-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://singinst.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
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