Guns and Transhumans (Was:The End of Privacy ?)
Thu, 2 Jul 1998 17:41:25 EDT

In a message dated 7/2/98 11:46:42 AM, neosapient wrote in reply to: (not sure who wrote - was snipped) >>

>>that gun ownership is an important extropian theme.

>It certainly is. Guns are very useful pieces of technology. By carrying
>a gun (and training yourself in it's use) you empower yourself
>considerably, having an edge over most thugs you encounter. Objectively
>speaking, a gun is a great transhuman tool, but get's discriminated
>against because it's related to a "touchy" subject (killing people).
>Personally, I wouldn't lose any sleep over shooting an (armed) attacker.

That doesnt sound cohesive. Losing sleep is not the issue here. Being considered a redneck is. Pro-gun survivalists are seen by the public as right wing religious nuts. If you can make sweeping generalizations about the crimeviews of entire continents, assume that others will readily categorize a progun activist as slightly less evolved than Cro-Magnon.

What transhumans represent, public-relationswise, through the messages they most prominently convey, was the concern, I believe, of the gun thread. Violence, through it's primitive and primal connotations, is a value that most so-called "advanced" civilizations move away from as they evolve. This appears to be as they become more rational, they use their reasoning powers instead of the testosterone surges to measure correct actions.

The old saw "the pen is mightier than the sword" - may be replacable these days with "cultural prevention is more effective than violent retrobution."

What the original post said about extropians (and any other sane, rational person) supporting *freedom* to carry a weapon - i totally support, but the claim that guns are somehow for discrimination, since you chose that word, it primarily carries the meaning "to differentiate" - "to recognize as being diferent" and violence, in all it's forms is something I believe a Utopian society can clearly, rationally and freely try to set itself apart from.


"The capacity to tolerate complexity and welcome contradiction, not the need for simplicity and certainty, is the attribute of an explorer" Heinz R. Pagels - Perfect Symmetry