At 12:43 AM 10/26/98 -0800, Zeb Haradon wrote:
>The solution isn't to watch out for their response, or to try to convince
>them that there's nothing wrong with cloning.. you cannot change an
>irrational person's mind by presenting them with rational arguments. The
>solution is to find ways to do it anyway, despite any laws passed against
>it. [...]but what we really need to do is figure out how to more
Zeb, I wasn't offering "watch out" as a *solution*. You can only look for solutions once you're fully aware of the problem... I'm with you in that we should focus on circumventing the unjust restrictions that are practically inevitable. Building a global network of Extropians/transhumanists should help in this.
At the same time, I am unwilling to give up on rational persuasion. Just look at the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to see that large numbers of people (especially those with influence) *can* make drastic changes in their beliefs and the resulting values, social institutions, and laws. Let's not give up on appealing to human reason. *Sometimes* it works!
My preference is for a dual approach: Keep engaging people in rational discussion, while networking to find and develop avenues for circumventing national laws against transhuman technologies.
One reason for optimism: The technologies that we want to apply to extending lifespan, augmenting intellect, improving personality, etc., will be developed in many countries for other purposes for which there is strong demand. Once the tools are widely available, it will be much easier to use them for our purposes. In isolated countries where computers, biotechnology, and so on, are not allowed for *any* purpose, any transhumanists will have a much harder time. Pehaps we will eventually organize to help them escape from such backward places.
Consulting services on the impact of advanced technologies President, Extropy Institute: