Re: ENTROPIAN ALERT! Another warning for us to organize

Date: Wed Feb 28 2001 - 13:45:33 MST

Max forwards from
> Rebels Against the Future
> If it's new, they hate it...

I know we should be disgusted and frightened by this movement, but oddly
I had a different reaction while reading the article.

After all these years that we have been talking about these ideas to a
disbelieving world, here is a group that really gets it, that actually
believes us. They believe in biotech, in nanotech, in computers and AI
and human-machine melding. The believe that it can utterly reshape
the world.

The only problem is, they hate the idea.

But still, to have a group believe, even though they are opposed,
is worth something. At least its a reaction. Opposition is better
than apathy. I found it refreshing and gratifying to hear about these
people who believe in the promise of new technology, who are beginning
to understand that the future won't just be a matter of the same sort
of gradual changes that we have had in the past.

And really, if they want to oppose it, that's their right. These are
huge changes; few of us expect the human race to leave this century in
anything like its historical form (and some put the time frame in a decade
or two). This is not a transformation which people can take in stride.
At best it is going to be a tumultuous ride, at worst outright war
and possibly total annihilation. It is better for all concerned for
people to put their cards on the table as early as possible, to begin
considering these changes far in advance. That's where the Foresight
Institute got its name, after all.

In the end, I am skeptical that these anti-technology movements can
succeed in their broadest goals, simply because they must adopt technology
in order to stay current and competitive. Did those 1500 participants
get notified about the gathering by carrier pigeon and smoke signals?
Undoubtedly the organizers used cell phones, fax machines and computers
to spread the word. "Computers are a colonizing technology," one of
the speakers lamented, recognizing this fundamental inconsistency in
their world-view. They can't oppose technology who rely on it.

In the end they will be forced to adopt a more nuanced position,
accepting some technologies while questioning others. This will lead
to less stridency and hopefully allow for a more open dialog.

We need to have a discussion, a global conversation about where we
are going and what we will do when we get there. Turning Joe Sixpack
soccer hooligans into immortal beings of pure energy isn't going to
happen overnight. The sooner we get started talking together, the better.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:48 MDT