Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> J. R. Molloy wrote,
> > From: "Harvey Newstrom" <mail@HarveyNewstrom.com>
> > > My fear is that any system that destroys groups for incorrect
> > thinking will
> > > quickly turn on us!
> > That doesn't sound like much to be afraid of. A system that
> > destroys groups
> > for incorrect thinking (in the extremely unlikely event that such a system
> > ever emerges) would have my full support. In fact, I'd form a group around
> > such a system.
> But who decides what is correct thinking? The Democrats? The Republicans?
> The Vatican?
> Do you want President Bush's advisors to decide if stem cell research is
> correct thinking? Do you want a team of top doctors to decide if cryonics
> is feasible? Do you want a consortium of Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco and IBM to
> decide if friendly AI is feasible? Do you want the FDA to decide which
> drugs are feasible?
> I think people on this list forget what a minority the cutting edge can be.
> Any panel for correct thinking will quickly degenerate into political
> correctness around the lowest common denominator. Don't expect the masses
> (or even the elite) to rally around our causes!
Just so, and good points Harvey. The number one reason why Extropy even
exists is because most people support to one degree or another the idea
that freedom means having the right to be as silly as you please. Much
of what we discuss, theorize, and believe is seen as everything from
slightly outlandish to hilariously silly and farfetched by a large chunk
of society, and typically by a chunk of society that believes things we
think are similarly ludicrous.
Its bad enough that this week a fellow was convicted here in the US for
simply keeping a private diary of pedophilic thoughts. I fully expect if
cryonics ever takes off significantly that environmentalists will sue to
shut it down on the basis that it wastes resources on the dead that
could be used for the living, and the greens will sue those that write
in favor of such technologies of advocating the criminal waste of scarce
I consider myself to be a rather strident civil rights advocate,
although arguably one with a rather narrow focus on self defense rights,
but I believe its an area that has seen the worst sort of attacks by all
sorts of methods longer than just about any other area of civil rights
law, concurrently with little public outrage over such behavior, and I
am steadfastly against using those sorts of methods myself against
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