Dear EA Community
Prepare for some constructive Criticism.
A few days ago, I posted my first essay on your forum entitled “How to Prevent Wars”. Although the reviewer was not very impressed, I am very happy and grateful that someone took time to read it and make comments.
I wrote the essay primarily because the topic is important to me, and secondly because I wanted it to be a “poke in the eye” to your community, to see what reaction, if any, it produced. I have looked at your forum web site and to be honest I’m not very impressed. The postings that have stuck in my mind are by a lady asking why people join EA full enthusiasm, but drift away disillusioned, and another by a poor chap who, like all of us, wants to make the world a better place, but felt totally excluded because he is not an academic or an intellectual. However I think he is very brave to be so honest, others would have stayed silent. I don’t think he has a problem, but the problem is with your community.
The reviewer of my essay had two basic criticisms of my essay. Firstly he disagreed with the content. This is great. If I’m wrong, I want to know about it. Secondly he criticized the writing style and he advised that before I posted again I should look at other postings and follow suit. This prejudice against writing style I object to. It is a restraint to the basic human right of freedom of speech and a form of censorship. It excludes all those who do not have the skill or desire to write in the “approved Style” and will mean that the wisdom and experience of ordinary people will be lost. How does excluding peoples genuine points of view make the world a better place?
I have read that the Dali Lama, when mulling over a problem, will go and talk to the cleaners. He values the wisdom of their alternative view point and incorporates it into his thinking. Often he finds that they know or say more than high ranking officials, because they are free to speak without the fear of a superior criticizing them and mix with both ordinary people and high ranking ones (whilst cleaning their rooms), thus having access to more information..
After the intro to my essay, I kicked off with the heading “Know Yourself”. In my opinion these are the wisest words ever written. They were carved over the entrance to the temple at Delphi about 300BC.
My interpretation, is that, because we grow up in a relatively isolated social group, we all have built in, learnt prejudices and bias’s, which warp our thinking to that of the group. It helps social cohesion. But, if you can understand these prejudices and also the limits of your knowledge, ie know yourself, then in later life you can compensate for these internal prejudices, bias‘ and ignorance’s, and thus under stand the world with a greater degree of accuracy. Achieve this ie understanding the present, and predicting the future becomes simple. Ironic, isn’t it, that the Ancient Greeks came from all over to consult with the oracle, and the key to prediction was written over the front gate for all to see!
So EA Community I call on you to “Know Yourself”. The EA website will be what you want it to be. At the moment there is a conflict between your invitation for all to “write stuff” and an undercurrent of “only if it is written in our approved style”. If you want it to be exclusive, that up to you, but be honest and don’t pretend to be open to all, when you are not.