Re: Children and psychosis was: HEA report on religion and mental

Bill Spight (
Thu, 14 Oct 1999 08:29:27 -0700

Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 08:29:27 -0700
From: Bill Spight <>
Subject: Re: Children and psychosis was: HEA report on religion and mental

Dear Chris,


"Fundamentalist thinking is child-like, and so is psychotic thinking.
Jamestown etc suggests a severe mental problem in fundamentalist groups
(heaven's gate (?)as well).

In this sense all children are born psychotic"

That is just a touch different to the way you reformatted it to become an absolute assertion with no context. Very 'totalist' of you :-) What 'nerve' did I touch?


What I quoted was, "all children are born psychotic". For this note, let me just talk about my quoting. The reader may want to skip this, but I have a general question.

I dislike extensive quotes in online discussions, although that is the norm. I have been online for a long time. In the early 80s, misunderstandings were rife, and quoting was not common. A frequent complaint was, "You didn't read what I wrote!" Quoting helps.

However, the easiest way to quote is just to quote the whole previous note. Sometimes people make comments at the beginning, and then follow with the whole note they are responding to. I wish they wouldn't. Why? Because people also intersperse comments with quoted text. So you have to wade through the whole thing, anyway, and hope you don't miss a comment. (I also find nested '>'s irritating, but that is not the style here, thank goodness. :-))

As a courtesy, I prefer to make brief quotations, to indicate what I am responding to. Is it out of context? Sure. But the context is available to the readers. The danger is misrepresentation, or the appearance thereof. People may also find my quotations confusing or irritating, because they are so brief.

No one here has complained about my quoting style, but perhaps their irritation just did not reach the threshold of complaint. So my question is, how do you like it (or dislike it)? Should I quote more extensively? (It would be hard for me to quote less. ;-))

Many thanks,


This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)