Re: "Raping the planets" and other PR disasters

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Fri Jun 23 2000 - 22:38:39 MDT

At 08:56 PM 23/06/00 -0700, Hal wrote:

>How can we watch what we say and still have a frank discussion about the
>issues which we find interesting and dramatic?

I find this thread mind-boggling. People like Corey and Anders are simply
pointing out that couching our aspirations as *rape*, however
metaphorically, is distasteful at best and wildly self-destructive at worst.

This is so not just in terms of the PR consequences but also for the very
discussion itself. (You doubt this? Well, then, let's rip right ahead with
plenty of macho jokey stuff about our plans to *genocide* the cosmos, or
*ethnically cleanse* any aliens we find.)

Other like Hal note that our long-term or even medium-term plans are indeed
horrifying to the conventional mind. That's perfectly true but utterly
misses the point. Bullies, oafs and creeps joke about their plans to commit
rape (with all due respect to the gentleman who first `light-heartedly'
introduced this disgusting analogy); the rest of us cringe away and leave
the room as quickly as possible.

We're going to have enough foes. Let's not gratuitously and foolishly
provide them with the stick to beat us.


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