PHIL: Environmentalism and Extropianism
Tue, 4 Feb 1997 14:24:03 -0500 (EST)

Those of you who want to explore further the relationship between
environmentalism and Extropianism might find useful a very early
consideration of that topic, in "Wisdomism: A Moral Theory for the Age of
Information" 2 EXTROPY 22 (Winter 1988-89). Here's a quote:

First of all, let me note that most of Wisdomism's tenets will
correspond quite nicely to the moral intuitions that most of us already
possess. This was demonstrated above, in the discussion of Wisdomism's rules
of thumb. Wisdomism will never ask us to sacrifice our planet to alien
civilian engineers, for example, because it recognizes the disposition for
egoistim [sic] as a wonderful means of advancing wisdom. Note secondly that
moral intuitions don't always favor the interests of our bodies and brains,
as is evident in many current moral debates. The environmentalist movement,
for example, has been initated by people who feel a deep empathy for vastly
complex, efficient and information rich ecosystems. It shows particular
concern for the wisest of non-human animals: dolphins and whales. We might
say that environmentalists value the wisdom of Nature, a wisdom they feel
they share. Animal rights activists and vegetarians likewise object to what
they see as the needless destruction of their kin. All of these parties feel
moral obligations to consider the interests of other information processing
systems with which they share certain traits. It should not prove too
suprising if Wisdomism asks us to do the same.

Id. at 28.

I'm not sure that I would say the same thing today; I would at a minimum
rephrase it. I'm thus revising the article for republication. Keep an eye
on the T0Mpage.

T.0. Morrow
V.P. and Director, ExI