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Thanks Mike!

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Posted by Kyle on September 5, 2002 03:20:46 UTC

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the kind words! I shared a similar experience to yours: Alexander and I were discussing ‘causality’ and soon enough we came to odds-- anyway it got to the point where the exchanges degenerated first into ‘argumentae ad hominem’, then into full-scale, put-up-yer-dukes fisticuffs! Lol!
But even throughout all of that nonsense I always regarded his knowledge of physics as top-notch.

As for Yanniru’s assertion that you ran Alex off the boards... who knows? (besides Alexander).
Perhaps it’s not an absolute question of whether you did or did not, but a relative question as to what degree you played a role in his departure. It’s possible that you may have catalysed it without being the causal agent for it-- After all, someone like Alexander (who is strong-willed, who had already been here for so long, who probably doesn't accept a deterministic philosophy... ) probably would have left only if he himself had truly wanted to go. Some people who leave might have been already contemplating leaving-- and then some immediate fracas simply gives them the excuse to exit.

In any case, we certainly can’t start censoring our uproars and fracases! We can’t censor "personality", "disposition", or "sense of humor" either.
Besides, how much fun would things be without the occasional uproar?! I’d say that a good forum has a nice balance between two types of elements-- breakthroughs in thinking (or resolutions of problems) that are punctuated by the occasional episodes of ‘entertainment’ -- and the occasional (civilized) fracas can be a good crossroads for both events!


One last thought on the topic: it’s easy to enforce the extreme absolute limits with respect to conduct (ie. no threats of violence, profanity, etc.) but we can’t easily legislate and enforce conduct much more narrowly than that (at least not without each person giving up some real or symbolic freedoms, just like in our own macrocosmic society). So instead, within those boundaries we expect (hope?) that a sort of democracy (‘self-policing’) maintains an equilibrium of conduct... meaning that if one person is truly unbearable then everyone collectively drives him off the board before he drives someone else off the board. Like the capitalists say, "laissez- faire" ("leave the course in the hands of the free-market").

And what about that rare instance where that self-policing might fail-- let’s say one person just cannot be driven off the board or is just very stubborn?
Well then in the words of a resigned and shrugging Joe: "...waddayagonnado?"



Best regards, Mike!
Kyle

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