Re: SOC/TECH: Greenstar <--- MUST SEE

Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 14:31:35 MDT

[OK . . . I am officially not using my time efficiently this weekend . . .
but I think this is a damned important subject. (There are other damned
important subjects going on on the list right now, but compared to resolving
global hunger, ignorance and poverty, they look insoluble :-0) ]

Seriously, when I suggested adopting something like Greenstar as a "pet
charity", I wasn't suggesting it as an "only charity". Consider how many
units they could manufacture and create if a significant portion of people in
sci-tech jobs in the developed world donated $5 or $10. Enough to set a
significant example, perhaps, and show that technology CAN make a difference.
 Maybe 1,000 units? That could make a big difference in a lot of people's
lives within the next few years, and more importantly, could serve as a seed
around which more such efforts could be organized.

I don't doubt that the installations would be at risk of being suborned by
local thugs. You'd have to pick your projects wisely. You wouldn't want to
put them into the middle of a war zone. But you could work around the edges,
creating islands of prosperity from which you could grow the movement.

And I agree that we need to put money into explicitly transhumanist work.
Hey - we don't get nearly as many payments of membership dues and other
contributions to ExI and Foresight as we should, given the growing interest
in the subjects these organizations address. My point is that something like
Greenstar may well be a better and smarter use of a different kind of
charitable donation than, say "Save the Children" or the like.

Finally, let me say that I didn't do anything like a complete listing of
reasons why supporting a project like Greenstar (or Grameen Bank) is a good
idea. At one very selfish level, my happiness is increased by reducing the
widespread levels of hunger, ignorance, poverty, tyranny and hopelessness in
the world. The existence of these things makes me feel bad, and doing
something to combat them makes me feel better. Furthermore, I think doing
things like Greenstar and Grameen is a better expenditure for "defense" than
much of what we spend on our military establishments in the First World.
There are many other good reasons, but I wanted to add these two to the one I
cited previously.

       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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