Re: Public Relations
Tue, 6 Jan 1998 10:23:08 -0800 (PST)

On Mon, 5 Jan 1998, Hal Finney wrote:

> Are there any ways we would distinguish an Extropian activist movement
> from a libertarian one? Both favor individual freedom, laissez faire
> economics, and absence of coercion. That's about as far as libertarians
> go; that is the core which they agree on.


> I would see an Extropian activist movement then as working for the
> libertarian goal of anti-coercion, but doing it in such a way that it
> targets technologies which give people more power to control and alter
> their lives. In distributing its resources, it would work hardest to
> eliminate laws which did the most to impede Extropian goals. Rather than
> working to eliminate bans on heroin, it would try to eliminate bans on
> cloning research. Rather than supporting the right of people to burn
> the flag, it would support their right to choose cryonic suspension.
> This does not mean that these other goals are wrong, or that no effort
> should be expended on them. But given that resources are limited, an
> Extropian activist organization should try to find causes which resonate
> with Extropian principles. All forms of freedom are good, but those which
> especially help people to achieve self transformation, self improvement,
> self expansion, are the ones which an Extropian organization would be most
> interested in.

This seems right to me. An organization or public agenda devoted
specifically to these tasks would look pretty extropian to me. Although
the conspicuous future-orientation of extropianism remains pretty implicit
in this agenda as it stands. Isn't a movement to clear a space for
self-transformation only half the extropian battle though? We also want
to safeguard against potential *dangers* that almost nobody else is in a
real position to perceive. Foresight's BioArchive project may be an
example of this sort of activism. I'd be interested to hear ideas for
others as well. Is it useless to anticipate and work to protect ourselves
against some of the worst threats implicit in a technological singularity,
for example? Best, Dale