There’s another thing Paula said, that’s much much more trivial, so I didn’t want to combine with the Nazi&Stasi totalitarian accusation – but it’s one that I keep getting and it’s really…a bad thing to do, so I want to address it too. Actually it’s not all that minor, as a thing to do – but it was about me, so it’s minor in that sense.
It started where I left off, with
I disagree. I see real strains of totalitarian thought over there. And I lived in a totalitarian state for 2 years.
The other said
Incidentally, I do hope you are as strident in your condemnation of threats against eg Ophelia Benson. That’s serious.
What threats? There was no threat. Only ridiculous, OTT ‘concern’, which just goes to show how silly these overreactions are.
The reason it’s a bad thing to do, as I said a week ago, in response to Russell Blackford’s claiming to know more than he knew about what I was reacting to, is that you can’t judge what it’s like to get a threat (or threat-like message) if you’re not the one who gets it. You can’t judge, and you should be able to figure that out. Within reason. I don’t mean that if one gets a pretty postcard that says “Having a lovely time!” it’s reasonable to think that’s a threat. But within reason – you should be able to figure out that something that can be read as a threat might well be scarier to receive than it is to read about someone else receiving. See what I mean? It’s not real to them because they don’t have to do anything about it. I did. I had to decide whether what looked threat-like actually was a threat. Fortunately Tim Farley helped enormously with that, by doing all the hard work involved. But I didn’t know that was what was going to happen when I had to decide what to do.
So. It wasn’t “ridiculous.” It wasn’t OTT. It wasn’t “concern.” It wasn’t silly. It wasn’t an overreaction. It’s easy for Paula to think it was, but she didn’t receive it.
I’ll just remind Paula – clearly she’s reading me, in the same benevolent spirit as Abbie’s friends – that I didn’t squall and tear my hair the instant I read the first message. I puzzled over it and then sent a reply saying oh come on, it’s not going to be that bad, just maybe awkward at times. That’s not ridiculous, or OTT, or silly, or an overreaction, is it.
It was the last part of the second message that did sound threat-like.
I’m happy that PZ was not shot (gun or uppants camera) at GAC, but that gives me scant reassurance that you will *not* be shot either way in Las Vegas.
Please do not respond to this message. If you adopt safety measures, whether I’ve suggested them or not. DO NOT TELL ANYONE, including me.
Don’t you dare tell me that doesn’t look anything like a threat. Don’t you dare tell me I was silly to think it might be meant as one.
And don’t tell other people things like that, either. Have some sense. You don’t know. Leave it to the cops, or to people who are involved. Don’t sneer at people who think a threat-like warning looks like a threat. Have some sense, some epistemic humility, some decency.