Re: [pcp-discuss:] Probleming through Florida

From: Don Mikulecky (mikuleck@HSC.VCU.EDU)
Date: Wed Dec 06 2000 - 14:10:03 GMT

  • Next message: Don Mikulecky: "Re: [pcp-discuss:] Choosing up sides... but not."

    If you can succeed in that reductionist/mechanist venture, maybe we should go back
    and try to formalize math one more time?

    It has always been clear to me that the illusion of compartmentalization is a tool
    used by those who wish to control and manipulate others. *It is the MOST political
    act I know* Hence we have a clear example of a self-referential inherent
    contradiction being manifest here.

    John J Kineman wrote:

    > I agree with Francis that the politics has to be kept separate or else
    > it is a discussion better done in a pub over a pint of Guinness, with or
    > without a companion. I don't consider this censorship, but rather
    > keeping us on track.
    > I would appreciate feedback on the technical aspects of my analysis in
    > the paper at:, particularly my
    > statistical modeling claims. I did not include the question of
    > "representativeness" vs. "voter power" in that discussion, but am
    > thinking of adding that with some references now that it has been
    > clarified in those terms. The difference depends on the semantics one
    > assumes in the system, an aspect that is commonly overlooked, as I
    > believe the current case demonstrates.
    > "Norman K. McPhail" wrote:
    > >
    > > Francis:
    > >
    > > I don't question your good intentions, but as reasonable and appropriate
    > > as your admonishment appears on the surface, I suggest that you may want
    > > to reconsider the implications your words. Specifically, I respectfully
    > > request that you consider what might happen if you appoint yourself
    > > watchdog, censor, policeman, judge and jury for the content on the
    > > pcp-discuss list:
    > >
    > > To begin with, I submit that any attempt by anyone to censor the
    > > contributions of this list's participants is likely to lead to one of
    > > two unintended and unfortunate consequences: First, in my experience,
    > > when an individual attempts to assert that some area is not a proper
    > > topic of discussion, the discussion itself often reverts to arguing
    > > about what is and is not proper. This almost invariably leads to a
    > > process of choosing up sides. It also often results in the emergence of
    > > an adversarial tenor in the discussions. Such an adverse attitude places
    > > more stock in winning arguments than it does on exchanging ideas and
    > > building mutual understanding. As a result, if we let censorship become
    > > a regular feature of our discussions, the level of exchange amongst us
    > > could be in danger of deteriorating into a polarized personal war of
    > > words.
    > >
    > > The second probable outcome of encouraging any kind of top down or
    > > unilateral censorship is a sharp reduction of contrasting opinions and
    > > ideas. I'm sure would agree that it would be sad if we lost the diverse
    > > discussions that seem to blossom in these fertile grounds from time to
    > > time. I think that both of these consequences would be detrimental to
    > > the value and enjoyment of subscribing to this list and participating in
    > > its exchanges.
    > >
    > > Next, as perhaps you are aware, some of us feel that the agenda you seek
    > > to advance is at odds with some of the diverse views held by other
    > > contributors and subscribers to this list. I have no doubt that you
    > > would never let your personal bias cause you to censor or admonish
    > > anyone without a good reason. And I'm sure that you would never
    > > arbitrarily try to censor me or keep me from expressing my personal
    > > views.
    > >
    > > I'm also sure that it won't come as a big surprise to you that many of
    > > the other participants on this list are well aware that you don't have
    > > much respect for my views. So when you single me out and attempt to
    > > censor some minor transgression such as this, they may begin to wonder
    > > if you are being heavy handed, arbitrary and are abusing your position
    > > to advance your personal agenda. What's more, if you continue to play
    > > the role of self appointed chief censor and it then becomes obvious that
    > > you seek to silence those with whom you disagree, I submit that your
    > > credibility will suffer.
    > >
    > > Most subscribers to this list still respect your ideas, work and efforts
    > > in your chosen field. But if you persist as a self appointed official
    > > censor, your approval ratings could quickly drop off the charts. Is
    > > that what you really want? And do you really want to garner the undying
    > > wrath of everyone you bring to task?
    > >
    > > It is very understandable that you might take a proprietary interest in
    > > the contents of the pcp-discuss list server and that this, in turn,
    > > would cause you to try to direct the discussion from time to time. In
    > > addition, as I recall, you don't put much stock in the notion of free
    > > will and free speech. So perhaps it is easier for you to justify your
    > > actions as being in the best interest of the pcp list.
    > >
    > > But as I've tried to point out, from a practical standpoint, I'm sure
    > > you can appreciate that the job of censor could potentially be very
    > > destructive to your personal credibility and your professional
    > > reputation. So I would hope that this realization will cause you to
    > > think twice the next time you are moved to take it upon yourself to
    > > dictate what is and is not acceptable content on the pcp-discuss list
    > > server.
    > >
    > > Norman K. McPhail
    > >
    > > Francis Heylighen wrote:
    > >
    > > > I would like to remind our estimated subscribers that this is a
    > > > mailing list about cybernetic philosophy, not about present
    > > > politicial debates. Applying cybernetical reasoning to analyse the
    > > > Florida situation is an appropriate subject for a PCP-discuss
    > > > message, but discussing the apparent motivations of the candidates,
    > > > the pecularities of the US legislation, and one's personal political
    > > > preferences is not. I can understand the temptation to get from the
    > > > one into the other, but please keep your discussions focused on
    > > > cybernetics.There are more than enough other channels to discuss the
    > > > political situation. Also take into account that for people outside
    > > > the US this is not necessarily interesting or even understandable.
    > ========================================
    > Posting to from "John J Kineman" <>

    Posting to from Don Mikulecky <>

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