Re: Eugenics: PLS READ [was Berkeleyans Against

Kathryn Aegis (
Tue, 05 Oct 1999 17:58:11

Hal Finney writes:
>This can be done relatively easily, I think. Any advocate of genetic
>engineering must first begin by denouncing, in the strongest terms
>possible, the racist component of the eugenics movement. He must make
>it clear that all human races are equally valuable and unique, that
>all individuals have a contribution to make.

Excellent point to open with. Someone could use a short version of this in a panel debate with a neoludd proponent.

<snip> more useful material

>This rhetorical technique is valuable when proposing a variety of
>unconventional or challenging ideas: defusing criticism by going to its
>heart and clearly showing that your goals are diametrically opposed to
>the fundamental philosophy being ascribed to you. I read of it years ago
>in some libertarian literature, but I don't recall the name it was given.

It's taught as basic media advocacy strategy, part of the general set of techniques referred to as 'staying on message no matter what'. When this kind of attack is mounted, one of the goals of it is to get you to waste your precious thirty seconds of camera time in defensive posturing. Then, the opponent's message is the one the audience tends to remember. The text above provides a guide to inserting a positive message from the second you start to speak (or write, if it's a chat line interview).

Thank you, Hal and Robert, for taking the time to address this.

And, yes, 'meat' probably works best in personal conversations only, despite its wonderfully vivid conveyance of a central idea.

Kathryn Aegis