"aet.radal ssg" wrote:

From: "Jesse Mazer" 
Subject: Re: Many worlds theory of immortality 
Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 14:48:17 -0400 
Generally, unasked-for attempts at armchair psychology to explain 
the motivations of another poster on an internet forum, like the 
comment that someone "just wants to hear themself talk", are 
justly considered flames and tend to have the effect of derailing 
productive discussion.

I indicated that it wasn't a flame and just an observation. You later prove me right.

My point was that the *type* of comment you made is generally considered a flame merely because of its form, regardless of whether your intent was to provoke insult or whether you just saw it as making an observation. It just isn't very respectful to speculate about people's hidden motives for making a particular argument, however flawed, nor does doing so tend to further productive debate about the actual content of the argument, which is why ad hominems are usually frowned upon.

 but hey, this list is all about 
rambling speculations about half-formed ideas that probably won't 
pan out to anything, you could just as easily level the same 
accusation against anyone here. 


And so you reinforce my "flame". "Rambling speculations about half-formed ideas that probably won't >pan out to anything" is a good description of talking to hear ones-self talk.

Sometimes, but it's also a good description of brainstorming ideas that aren't fully developed yet. If I had speculated in 1910 that perhaps the force of gravity could be explained in terms of objects taking the shortest path in curved space, but didn't have a full mathematical theory that fleshed out this germ of an idea (and also didn't yet see that the longest path through curved spacetime would be better than the shortest path through curved space), then this would be a "halfed-formed idea that probably wouldn't pan out to anything", but it might still be useful to discuss it with others who found this germ of an idea promising and wanted to develop it further. That's how I see the purpose of this list, a combination of brainstorming ideas about the "everything exists" idea and then criticizing, fleshing out or disposing of these ideas. So certainly criticism of specific ideas that don't make sense is valuable, but I don't think it's helpful to accuse anyone who comes up with an idea that doesn't work out of just wanting to hear themselves talk.

If it's not going to pan out anyway, then it's pretty meaningless. If it's "rambling" it's fairly incoherent, >and if the ideas are half-formed then what's the point to begin with?

99% of brainstorms don't pan out to anything, and brainstorms by definition are usually half-formed, but all interesting new ideas were at one point just half-formed brainstorms too. Perhaps I should have left out "rambling", I only meant a sort of informal, conversational way of presenting a new speculation.


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