Just Say No to Political Subject Matter

Fri Mar 21 14:27:25 PST 2003

On Fri, 21 Mar 2003 rone at ennui.org wrote:

> Philip Hart writes:
>   I'm a bit unhappy about the imposition of an "if people care about it we
>   can't mention it (well, except for discussions of G*d)" doctrine but I
>   won't object as long as it's even-handed and not applied to discussion
>   directly related to the Vladiad.
> On the specific topic of politics, it is nearly impossible to have
> civilized discourse.  The recent response by Mr. Congdon used fairly
> inflammatory language and as such was inappropriate.

It seemed to me Warlord's original input was also inflammatory (tempted
to write "flammatory" for some reason) - I hadn't noticed Mr. Congdon's
tone because I happen to agree with the substance of his remarks and
because I hear much worse from the European physicists I work with.

On the topic of religion, the same usually holds as far as I know - during
the rock discussion I would have weighed in with my opinion that belief in
a supreme being is more ridiculous than a belief in Santa Claus or the
Easter Bunny (though I think less ridiculous than a belief in astrology)
if I didn't think my opinion was inflammatory.  So I "suffered" from the
self-censorship Matthew Hunter expressed a concern about.  I even avoided
writing "please read Kant or shut up" when I deleted the nth reply in that

>   Anyway, as this forum in my view belongs both to the people
>   who read it and to SKZB, I for one would welcome hearing his political
>   views on occasion, especially since we seemed blessed to live in
>   interesting times.
> And yet he is loathe to discuss them, because he admits to turning
> into an asshole when he does.  If he shows such admirable restraint on
> a topic which he holds so closely and dearly, i think so should we all.

I think this forum is sufficiently worshipful to avoid provoking him (for
example I have to resist the impulse to capitalize the second pronoun
above) but whatever.