Re: List

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Feb 09 2001 - 08:21:03 MST

"Corwyn J. Alambar" <> writes:

> Eliezer wrote:
> > >
> > > A couple of thoughts on what an extropian counterprotest could look like.
> > > Numerical inferiority would be so overwhelming in any such situation, that
> > > the only feasible alternative would be IMHO a Greenpeace-like stunt.
> >
> > They'd crush us like bugs. I agree with Sandberg; the most effective
> > option is writing counterpoint newspaper articles, ideally somewhere
> > influential with a receptive audience.
> The problem with newspaper articles and such is that they tend to be dry,
> and not very convincing to the public at large. Very few people remember
> a moving editorial; only a few more remember a story in a major news
> magazine like Time or Newsweek.

Do you win because a lot of people read an article a single time, or
because the right people read an article a single time and write their
own articles based on your memes, multiplying the effect a
thousandfold? My experience is that it is the later. I write somewhat
dry articles for a somewhat obscure journal, but I find my views and
formulations occasionally repeated on editorial pages a week later and
in the more popular press a month later.

> A page needs to be taken from the pro-life/pro-choice playbook: We need
> to rephrase the debate in terms of something for which most people are in
> favor. It will NOT help to be anti-environment; not only does that run
> counter to what many of us really believe, but it will score us no points
> at all in he long run with people who will find it easy to revile positions
> we hold based on how we're all "pave the earth" types.

True. However, it is easier to get active against something you are
against than something you are for, unfortunately.
> A well-organized sloganeering capaign could revolve around "End World Hunger
> NOW!" - no one is for world hunger, after all. When one of the more activist
> types gets in your face about being pro-genetic engineering and thus anti-
> environment, ask them at the top o fyour voice how many acres of virgin
> wilderness had to be cleared to grow their "all-natural" cotton and/or hemp
> clothes, or grow their organic fruits and vegetables? How many acres of
> animal habitat were destroyed so they could feel good about themselves wearing
> "all-natural" fibers? THAT is the sort of sound bite that will make it
> into the media, and show the ecofundamentalists for what they really are -
> a radical fringe group.

Or base your argument on your core premise: genetic engineering will
help save people's lives - even if it has some risks, the potential
damage is clearly smaller than the current damage done to the
environment with unsustainable inefficient agriculture not to mention
the amount of human suffering the current situation involves and that
could be avoided. yes, there might be unknown long term effects, but
do you seriously think they would be worse than a 100 million people
with vitamin A deficiency?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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