Re: Glowing Grass

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sun Jul 09 2000 - 18:22:11 MDT writes:

> CAVEAT: I AM dynamically optimistic. You might not believe that after
> reading my posts, though . . .

I think one can be dynamically angry too :-)

> I spend a good deal of time in the UK and for those who haven't spent time
> immersed in European media, I'll tell you it's just plain scary how far the
> anti-technology meme has spread. Yes, it's inconsistent -- Europeans still
> love high-tech BMWs and cell phones, while at the same time a majority of
> them react with horror to each new advance in genetic science. But the
> European media and the left of Euro-politics is leading the luddite charge,
> and they've built up a LOT of momentum.

Yes. And what Waldemar calls the 'guilt-industrial complex' is very,
very good and has a philosophical high ground in many issues. Here in
Sweden there will be a new education for genetic councellors (people
to help others handle genetic testing), and it turns out that both of
main educators for the course are strongly anti-enhancement, anti
genetic choice and actually think it would be better for people if
genetic testing didn't exist! A bit like having catholic abortion

That is the kind of stuff we have to find, show to be silly or bad and
suggest better alternatives to.

> > It seems what ExI should do is write a position statement on the
> > advantages of Biotech and GeneEng to offset the Green/AnimalRights
> > position and publish it on the web site. Then we should make sure that
> > reporters at the major papers know how to contact us for pithy
> > comments about how ill-conceived the positions of the demonstrators are.
> That's one small step, but not NEARLY enough. I propose a "Progress
> Coalition" that gets some real money behind a concerted advertising and
> lobbying campaign - to do the kinds of things Tom described in his post on
> this thread. If we don't get Madison Avenue and Congressional lobbyists
> working on our side muy pronto, we're going to show up for the game with the
> score already 90 to nothing.

Sasha had a very similar idea, and I think it would be a treasure if
it could be implemented - if you can get people in industry, politics,
in need of medical care or having a positive outlook on the future to
realise they have a mutual enemy (and mutual friends), then you could
get a strong coalition. But that cannot be just an ExI project, it
requires us to try to connect all our most poweful connections and get
them to network together.

> Here's the problem, in a nutshell: The proponents of technological progress
> are mainly scientists and technologists. As a rule, such folks are TERRIBLE
> at public relations and broad-based memetic promotion and, apparently at
> assessing the trends in such spheres. They're good at things that by and
> large don't require those kinds of skills. That's why they do science and
> technology and not politics and media. The opponents of progress, on the
> other hand, tend to NOT be scientists and technologists, but media figures,
> "policy wonks" and politicians. In other words, the other guys have some
> inherent advantages here.

Exactly. This is a big problem the academic community has just begun
to notice (if even that). So let's try some lateral thinking: what do
our side have that is inherently hard for the other side to achieve?

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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