RE: A Message to the Membership

From: Joseph Sterlynne (
Date: Wed Jan 05 2000 - 08:57:14 MST

> Robert Bradbury

>I would hate to see us move from organizations involved in rational
>educational discussions to organizations with "platforms". But
>platforms do serve a purpose of condensing a lot of in the trenches
>discussion into a form that can be easily communicated.

Meaning: platforms allow complex networks of ideas and information to
be reduced to a three-second sound bite whose value is proportional
mainly to its provocativeness and thus, often, its
ostentatiousness. There's a difference between ease of communication
and submission to unreasonable restrictions of major media outlets and
the average voter's attention span. Platforms allow ossification of
dynamic philosophical and scientific positions which, being
scientific, demand fluidity and eschew dogmatism.

>The "politics" and "economics" creep in when you actually get into
>the details of how to implement these moral values and courses of

I---to my surprise, I must say---have been more attentive to the very
noticable growing interest in and concern about transhumanism in the
public arena. I realize that some people here have long been active
in what could be considered "political" work promoting or defending
transhumanism. And the public is certainly becoming more aware of the
ideas. But I have never had confidence in politicians or journalists,
to name a few, to determine the playing field, the rules, or the goals
for earnest discussion or development.

Robert has enough concern about this to place quotes around the main
terms; but I doubt that the quoted (and thus weaker) terms are
ultimately very different than those normally used. Large portions of
your audience may not know what a "platform" is. They know what a
platform is, however, and even if you manage to personally dissociate
the two in your own work _Time_, Katie Couric, and friends will
probably not perceive or allow the distinction.

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