Hawking an Extropian?

Randy Smith (cryon@mindspring.com)
Mon, 09 Mar 1998 17:24:39 GMT

>Stephen Hawking gave a talk at the White House tonight. According to
>news reports, he predicted that the next century would see the human
>race substantially altering itself.

>Hawking's failing body has no doubt made him more aware than most people
>of the substantial need for improvements in our biological nature.
>Maybe all the "medical ethicists" who shudder with horror at the thought
>of cloning and genetic engineering would have a different view if they
>could spend a few days in Hawking's wheelchair.
>Hawking is practically a cultural icon now so perhaps his frank comments
>will help to open people's minds to these Extropian ideas.

Over the near future short-term, I doubt if he will effect any
substantial change, unless he totally embraces the concept and makes
it a crusade, and why should he? Even he if he were able to show many
the Extropian light, the change he caused would not come in time to
help him.

Perhaps if some powerful TV news figure were to embrace Extropianism
and use Hawking as a vehicle, then you might have something. Until
then, these ideas are likely to continue to elude the conscious grasp
of the vast majority of Westerners. like picnickers atop a
leviathian, oblivious to the monster beneath them.

No, Hal, the major news media is the hammer which pounds modern
societal nails, and until Extropian ideas become the nails, we will be
on the fringes, no matter the occasional intellectual ponderings, even
if hawking *is* a pop culture buzzword. Now if Hawking were to sign
up for cryonics, and go public in a big way, that might make a
Randy Smith
Cryonics: Gateway to the Future?