Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Poll

In conversation elsewhere online, an interlocutor of mine makes a familiar charge:
I really do not know why you are unable to react with anything other than hostility here and other places where I have seen your work.

Let's ponder some of the key possibilities….

A: Could it be… Satan?

B: Well, I think I'm sweet.

C: The only work of mine you read is when I'm responding to Robot Cultists.

D: Clearly, I'm cr-a-a-a-a-a-zy


De Thezier said...

Or E: I have a short fuse/quick temper.


jfehlinger said...

It seems to me that Dale has historically bent over backwards
to be polite to all his interlocutors, and to take particular
pains to make it clear when he disagrees with somebody that his
disagreement with that person's views does not imply
dislike of the person.

It is a measure of the degree to which >Hism activates
tribal defenses and provides religious comfort that folks
cannot separate criticism of the belief system from personal

There are, however, a few cases in which ad hominem "leakage"
is inevitable. The cases of guru-wannabes and their more
fervent True Believers, for example, are almost impossible to
discuss at all without alluding to the personal shortcomings
of the parties involved. Those cases still deserve mention,
IMO, because the phenomena on display are too important
(too pernicious, that is) to pass over in polite silence.

It is also true that Dale seems less inclined these days to
self-censor strong criticism **simply** to spare the feelings
of would-be congregants of various Churches of Superlativity.
This is a good thing, I think. Some parades deserved to
be well and thorougly dampened. Does anybody imagine that
Bertrand Russell or H. L. Mencken, if they were still alive,
would treat such spectacles with tender loving care?

> A: Could it be… Satan?

Yes, well, the Scientologists have a special term for somebody
who dares to doubt L. Ron's wisdom and beneficence (or equally,
for somebody who dares to be insubordinate to a superior in
the org): Suppressive Person. Such people are credited with
being able to influence the people around them in ways
which were attributed to witches in earlier times -- spreading
physical and mental illness, blocking spiritual development,
and casting the Evil Eye wherever they go.

See also: Party Pooper.

Eric said...

Dale is crazy, but in a good way.

He certainly doesn't have a short fuse or a hot temper. I've only seen him "lose it" once in the nearly six years I've known him (and I've lived with him for five of those six years).

His amazing patience and kindness is sorely tested by religious fanatics though.

jfehlinger said...

> [T]he Scientologists have a special term. . .: Suppressive Person.

"Insane patients in institutions can routinely have their
psychotic break traced back to contact with such personalities."