"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> There's a noticeable difference between a history professor who believes in
> freedom and a lawyer who believes in pork and reelection, even if neither one
> is a fanatic Libertarian. Don't make the mistake of lumping all politicians
> together if they don't share your views; that destroys the possibility of
> incremental progress.
I have to disagree with your very first assumption about Mr. Gingrich - that he believes in freedom - at least of the civil kind. His record clearly show that he does not look kindly on civil liberties; and his ideas, futuristic though they may be, do not represent progress in any measurable way I consider it. I could be wrong, but I distinctly recall that Mr Newt was on the side of those opposing any kind of cloning research. On the other hand, one of the few sane voices calling for rational inquiry into cloning was Senator Harkin (D-Iowa), who by the way is a vocal fan of Star Trek and science fiction in general. He believes very strongly in space exploration, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and advanced scientific and technological research.
As to lumping together politicians, I draw the line on anybody who advocates the death penalty for a victimless crime. I don't care if he is on Extropy Institutes Board of Directors or a research nanotechnologist.
As to the rest of your post, unique and fascinating as always. :-)