From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Dec 12 2001 - 17:10:03 MST

On Wed, Dec 12, 2001 at 05:21:38PM -0600, Randy Smith wrote:
> Cloned monkey embryos are a "gallery of horrors"

Interesting. I really wonder what part of the primate cell
machinery is notably different from other mammals? Anybody

> Ya see, that is a fundamental difference between me and mainstream
> extropianism: I say it's OK to go all Frankenstein with respect to
> genetic engineering--because GE deals with making biological bodies,
> and in order to be immortal, bodies are important...VERY important.

Maybe you have no plans of getting extropianism respected?
Calling something Frankenstein is not a statement about it
merely being yuckky biology, but a statement that it is
unnecessary or unethical yuckky biology. Are you in favor of
unnecessary research (which takes resources that could be used
for real research) or unethical research (which is likely to
produce a well armed opposition pursuing you)?

There is a lot of yuckky ethical and necessary research (like
studies of cortical development, which requires some rather
disturbing experiments on kittens), but that is a different
story. The ACT research belongs in this category IMHO, and is
nothing to be squeamish about.

> OTOH, Extropianism says it's OK to go all Frankenstein with respect
> to immigration. Why is that, I ask? Oh, I see, because in order to
> be immortal, we need cheaper busboys, dishwashers and house
> construction crews, etc. Uh huh...

It is because you americans want bright people like ME <loud
European Mad Scientist laughter> to immigrate and lecture at
your universities, enrich your culture or start transhumanist
companies in a positive business climate. And yes, maybe work as
dishwashers too. The point is, immigration is good for the US
and the immigrants. Just wait and see how the anti-immigrant
countries of Europe will fare over the next decades with falling
birth rates and more and more retired people.

> Face it, Extropianism is a memeset created by and for the GreedHeads
> in Commerce and the Empire Builders in Govt....actually, it is FOR
> those who are farmed/ranched by the GreedHeads....

Interesting. The above is almost word by word a criticism I
heard of transhumanism over here too? One reason could be that
it is true of course, but there is another intriguing
possibility (not necessarily mutually exclusive): that you are
suffering from a certain memeset (what postmodernists call a
narrative) that says extropianism must be due to some system
conspiracy to keep people down. In fact, if you start to trace
the associations of the above statement back (for example by
looking at what texts and groups commonly use the same ideas and
terms and who they in turn got them from) you will soon find
that there is indeed a rather coherent narrative that you are
buying into here. Basically it says that free trade is always a
tool of oppression, and cannot be really good (in the long run,
at least) for any individual except for the minority at the top.
So people promoting free trade and similar ideas such as free
immigration either has to be dupes, belonging to the minority
profiting from it or willingly bought by it. Interesting enough,
people beliving in this memeset almost never ask themselves
whether *they* believe what they do because it profits them in
some way, or because they have assimilated these ideas from the
surrounding culture.

I would say the empirical evidence is fairly good that free
trade and free movement of people makes nations more wealthy and
peaceful, making it a rational strategy to strive for such
things. Others might disagree, but then we can discuss this
using rational discourse rather than assuming the other has been
"bought" by special interests. Even if Max More was personally
hired by the Illuminati to spread extropianism, it might still
be a good idea - either it holds together under scrutiny, or it

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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