Can we make a difference?

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Wed Feb 21 2001 - 03:57:27 MST

One of the problems that I have had off and on with the extropian
philosophy is that it cannot say (unlike religous beliefs) --
"This is what you should believe.....". There may be some
very loose principles to which most extropians would subscribe
but it is difficult to manifest those "beliefs" into "action"
(perhaps in part because from a management perspective it seems
unextropian to say to extropians -- "You should do this"!).

I want to draw extropians attention to a recent case where
"political correctness" resulted in the censorship of an

  "A Science Fair's Teachable Moment"
and the Slashdot discussion at:

Now, from my perspective, censorship of "scientific" results
(by the powers that be) can only be "unextropic" by definition.
The correct response would seem to be a justified, reasoned
articulated expression of why such scientific explorations
should be presented for public observation.

I believe that it would be highly useful for situations like
this to come under the focus of a national or international
"rapid" response team. One can only imagine the consternation
of local school board officials, principals, teachers, etc.
when the start receiving telephone calls from various
extropians (in the U.S., Europe, etc.) asking them what they
could possibly have been thinking to "censure" a scientific

Now, while on the one hand these people tend to "answer"
to local voters, on the other hand anyone can make a long
distance or international phone call. One can balance the
default requirement to answer to the local voters with the
"realization" that if one adopts an information suppression
position, one *will* hear from others that view that position
as "distasteful". It only requires several examples of
politicians in Colorado, Singapore, Hong Kong, Moscow, etc.
"receiving" or "refusing to accept" documented telephone
conversations to "shift" the debate into an open forum.

Particularly useful would be "strategic" assaults --
i.e. someone from Europe or Asia calling at a time
very inconvenient to them, but "convienent" to the
recipient of the phone call. Making it clear that
there is an inconvenience and expense involved, but one
that is acceptable to express ones opinions. This
in effect "requires" the recipient to listen to ones

What would be the "logistics" of a rapid response team?
(a) to identify cases that a majority of extropians
    would have an interest in expressing an opinion.
(b) to make available the contact information (email/phone)
    of the individuals involved in the issue.
(c) to report to the group/sub-group regarding any conversations
    or responses by the parties inolved in the issue.

So, I offer this example and a suggested response strategy
as a means for dealing with "political action" on the
extropian front lines.


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