Scott Badger wrote:
> To email@example.com :
> Trying to avoid the targets of crazies with mass destruction capabilities
> makes no sense to me. Where exactly would you predict crazies are going to
> strike? They're CRAZY! You'd end up turning into an agoraphobic. Leave the
> Earth? Temporary solution at best for a long-lived organism.
> I understand that we should all be concerned with our own welfare. But your
> "So what?" attitude is still a bit disconcerting. Perhaps I'm misreading,
> but it sounds like you're saying, "Just don't be one of the unfortunate
> ones. You can't stop crazies so don't even try. Save your own butt."
Most people learn at some point that the best way to avoid being attacked by disgruntled desperadoes is to avoid being the sort of person who victimizes people. This includes avoiding employment with governments that oppress people, or corporations that abuse or take advantage of their employees or their customers, and treating everyone I deal with personally with at least a minimum standard of respect and honesty. Living in this manner automatically excludes me from attack by 99.999999% of the crazies in this world. This does not protect me from others who may want to take advantage of or oppress me or my family or freinds. This is why I keep firearms and have knowledge of and potential access to other materials that may be needed to oppose repressive organizations. It is not to protect me from the crazies, who are almost always lashing out at the sources or symbols of the sources of the oppression which they have suffered, real or imagined. It is to protect me from the oppressors. Since the oppressed are typically lashing out because they have become disempowered in some manner, my overwhelming force of arms means that they are no threat to me or mine. The threat to me is from those who have greater power than I, and my doing my best to obtain a modicum of equalizing power helps equalize against that threat.
In my life, I have come in contact with crazies, and have treated them with respect and dignity, and have suffered no attacks, no ill effects. For example, when the LA riots were going on, there was also some rioting going on in Seattle. I happened to be in a position where I was able to save a woman from being attacked by a rather angry black man, and I did not have to raise a finger, did not have to brandish a weapon. I know that this is rare, however by not making myself a victim in the first place gave me the confidence to defuse the situation without resorting to arms. If things had escalated I would have been able to meet the level of escalation, and that confidence helped me.
> I hope
> this is not a common perspective among extropians. I don't conceive of
> Transhumanism as being about ME transcending MY limits, but about US
> transcending OUR limits. Your solution hardly reflects any humane concern
> for the safety or welfare of innocent others, perhaps less enlightened or
> informed. If we had some ideas about how to minimize the danger, wouldn't
> we be ethically obliged to do something about it instead of just stock up on
> groceries and such? This subject obviously carries into the ethics string,
> so I'll let it be. I agree with Anders in that the problem is real and will
> require substantial attention because so much will be at stake. Wouldn't
> the principle of dynamic optimism suggest that we take a more productive
> approach to the problem than *avoidance*?
If we each take care of ourselves, then we will all get there, won't we, since we each individually have a primary motivation in getting there, while the altruistic ethic is usually far less motivational.
-- TANSTAAFL!!! Michael Lorrey ------------------------------------------------------------ mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Inventor of the Lorrey Drive MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering ------------------------------------------------------------ How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?