Re: "Raping the planets" and other PR disasters

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Jun 23 2000 - 16:43:13 MDT writes:

> I don't think these comments are necessarily being made in jest.
> Some people do believe that planets are an inefficient use of mass.
> Most of the mass is on the interior and doesn't do anyone any good, aside
> from providing some gravity. And if you need that, you can probably
> get it more efficiently by centrifugal force or stellar gravity.
> It may be that these ideas are difficult for people to accept and do
> bring to mind the environmental catastrophes in the past. But I don't
> think we should necessarily tone down our views as a result.

Are our views "Let's destroy planets!" or are they "Let's create new
biospheres!"? You might mean the later, but in most communities you
will be misunderstood as the former if you express yourself badly. It
is not that the idea is hard to accept that is the problem, it is that
the idea itself tends to get overshadowed by how it is expressed.

> Nobody is going to be taking Mercury apart in the next decade. But 50
> or 100 years from now, it may be possible and desirable. At that point,
> society's social views will probably have changed at least as much as our
> own views have changed from those 50 or 100 years ago. There is no way
> to predict whether future society will be radical environmentalists or
> "pave the universe" developers by our own standards. I don't think we
> have to be that careful to couch our views in a manner which is acceptable
> to this month's mores.

We are vectors of cultural change. But if we refuse to notice that
people misunderstand us, form prejudiced and erroneous opionons about
our ethics, values and ideas and then act on them, then we are not
going to be very relevant vectors. Those movements that actually
manage to convey what they mean to significant groups will win.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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