Far Out Theater

Kaibosh: I've often struggled about how and where to draw the line. How to
         find the proper and best balance.

Moulton: Aha!  Kaibosh's struggle!  He needs help with his struggle. 
         "Ask and ye shall receive," is it written.  Help is on the way!

Kaibosh: Excuse me?

Moulton: Your patrons would love to help you draw the line each and
         every time.  That way you can draw it jointly so that you
         don't trespass on the patrons and they don't trespass on you.
         It's a really neat concept.  It's called negotiation.  Also
         called Bilateral Protocols.

Kaibosh: *sigh*


Kaibosh: Conferences develop their own distinct groups of people. They
         acquire varying and distinct expectations, boundaries and

Moulton: Yes.  These are called "cliques" or "tribes" or "ethnic
         groups."  We find them in online communities, in schools, and
         in the Balkans and Rwanda.  And they have this nasty habit of
         getting into intertribal "dissing" contests which leads to
         such wonderful concepts as Annihilation.  Also known as
         Pogroms, Purges, Ethnic Cleansing, and Genocide.  It's a
         wonderful concept and let's be sure we all learn the art of
         casting out the unwanted outcast group, like we did in


Krustie: I think that Barry's link to LJ last May was mean-spirited.
         Meaning that he did it to intentionally upset someone. It
         showed no respect for the participant nor for the conference.
         Which is contrary to the purpose of LJ.

Moulton: I forgive you, Krustie, for portraying me as having adopted
         an intentional goal of being mean-spirited and disrespectful.

Jesus:  That's the spirit, Moulton!

Buddha: Hehe!

Moses:  I guess you guys won't be needing me anymore.

Moulton: Please don't go, Moses.  I need all of you.

Moses:  You still need me?

Moulton: You taught me not to bear false witness, remember?

Moses:  Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about that.

Moulton: I haven't.  It hurts when someone bears false witness against

Jesus: Have you forgiven them?

Moulton: Yes.  I love Krustie too much to hold anything against her.

God: Amen.


God: Moulton...

Moulton: Yes, God?

God: Have you forgiven Jak King for badgering you, scandalizing you,
     and bearing false witness against you?

Moulton: Jak King?  Is that a real person?  Is he still around?

God: I trust you'll find out soon enough.


Yesdeer:  Moulton, what was the post that Krustie portrays as "mean-

Moulton:  It was my response to an oft-repeated question that Jak King
          had been badgering me with.

Yesdeer:  What was Jak King's question?

Moulton:  He kept asking me why I lied.

Yesdeer:  What's wrong with that.

Moulton:  It assumes a counterfactual, so it can't be answered.

Yesdeer:  So how can you answer it?

Moulton : I suggested the answer to his counterfactual question could
          be found in his biographical sketch, in which he explains
          why he likes to ask those kinds of silly, unanswerable

Hofstadter: You could just say, "Mu."  Unask the question.

Moulton: I don't think enough people know about that, Doug.

Yesdeer: I don't know what to say.

Moulton: That would have been a good answer.  "I don't know what to

Hofstadter: But it's not true, Moulton.  You knew to say, "Mu."

Jak King: Hofstadter nailed him!  Why did you lie, Moulton?


Yesdeer: Is it prohibited to post links to LJ?

Moulton: No. I recall seeing a host post a link to LJ, so I asked if
         that was an OK thing to do, and the host said yes.

Yesdeer: So how come your posting of a link was so bad.

Moulton: Krustie told you. She judged it to be mean-spirited.

Yesdeer: What about Jak King's repeated posing of a counter-factual
         question?  Wasn't that mean-spirited too?

Moulton: I have no way to reliably know Jak King's intentions.

Yesdeer: So how did you feel about it?

Moulton: It was dispiriting to me.


Gil: Moulton, have you read my book?

Moulton: Yes, Gil.

Gil: Then you know about "Skandalon"?

Moulton: I do now.

Gil: Do you know how to run the model backwards?

Moulton: Not in this case, no.

Gil: Then we have more work to do.

Moulton: Will this be painful?

Gil: You're the expert on emotions and learning.


Yesdeer: Krustie is saying that what you did is disrepectful.

Moulton: It is difficult to respect someone who repeatedly asks
         scandalous counterfactual questions.

Yesdeer: Sounds like a trap.

Moulton: Yes.  Because respect goes both ways.  It's hard to be
         respectful toward someone who treats me with contempt.

Yesdeer: How do you know Jak King felt contempt for you?

Moulton: I don't honestly know what his feelings were.

Yesdeer: He never told you how he felt about you?

Moulton: I don't know.  We weren't communicating.

Yesdeer: Why not?

Moulton: We didn't have an agreed-upon bilateral protocol.

Yesdeer: What does that mean in English?

Moulton: Manners.  It's rude to repeatedly ask counterfactual
         questions and to make scandalous and libelous accusations.
         And I don't know how to handle rudeness.

Yesdeer: Isn't that the host's job?

Moulton: The hosts have an unfathomable interpretation of civility.


Kaibosh: I have difficulty with those who up the ante for uncivil

Moulton: I had that same difficulty with Jak King and a few others.
         Maybe we can work cooperatively on this problem.

Kaibosh: Not!

Moulton: I was hoping for a more intellectual response, Kaibosh.

Kaibosh: I'll think about.

Moulton:  Cool.  I finally gave you a reason to think!

Kaibosh: *sigh*


Kirschiester: Steve, how do you define disrespectful?

Yesdeer: I asked Moulton, and he said it means using bilateral
         protocols instead of unilateral ones.

Tenaj: Moulton, speak English.

Moulton: It means to use good manners, to ask first, if something is
         OK, instead of going ahead and doing something novel without

Tenaj: Can you give some examples?

Moulton: How much time have you got, Janet?

Kaibosh: Uh oh.