Re: Gardening is Extropian (was) Are you an extropian? Re:Voluntarysimpli...

Date: Sun Jun 11 2000 - 19:26:05 MDT


I agree with much of what you wrote in this thread, especially about
extropianism contemplating a flowering of diversity through technology. But
I do take issue with this:

In a message dated 6/8/00 6:54:07 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

> Another example might be social "progress". The world hasn't really made
> much that could be called social progress in the last couple of millenia,
> with the "average citizen" living a shorter, poorer, less meaningful life
> than ever in history (actually, there is some debate a to whether the
> average agrarian society citizen, a peasant, lived a worse life, but
> a wobbly tangent). What society has managed to do is to accomodate 6
> plus people in a more or less (less?) stable fashion; we (well, not
> "us") have paid dearly for this.

>From the point of view of the average person in the developed world, the last
few centuries has seen very real progress. People are more free, better
educated, live longer and enjoy a level of material prosperity reserved in
former times only for kings and high priests. Although in much of the
"second" and "third" worlds, things are still not nearly as good, there are
some dimensions of progress. Perhaps a Mexican campesino isn't a great deal
better off than his pre-Colombian ancestors materially, but at least he
doesn't have to worry about being one of the thousands of victims of ritual
sacrifice demanded annually by the Aztec priest-kings. The average Chinese
woman is certainly better fed and educated than her ancestors, and she
doesn't have to worry about being crippled with foot binding.

The Enlightenment did mark a real turning point in the development of human
society, one we're admittedly just beginning to implement on a wide scale. I
think it's important to be clear that modern concepts of individual autonomy
and worth ARE hallmarks of progress. And while we're on the subject of what
is and isn't "extropian", I think those ideals are well within the definition.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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