Re: SOC: Opposition to Transhumanism

From: Natasha Vita-More (
Date: Wed Jan 05 2000 - 08:57:05 MST

At 10:38 PM 1/4/00 -0800, Hal wrote:

>Better to seek for ways to coexist, to have a world where some people
>experiment with new ideas and new ways of life, while others retain
>the traditions of the past. Religion has a place in the future, as
>do environmentalism, communism and other forms of social cooperation,
>and many other meme sets which we tend to see as our opponents.

Yes. This has been my view as well.

>My ideal world is not one in which everyone is just like me, and I am
>sure most of us feel the same way. Practicing tolerance of those with
>different views is an important step towards that world. Think of it
>as Gandhian non-violence brought into the memetic world, memes which
>attempt to coexist without defeating their rivals.

I agree here also. Tolerance and acceptance of other's views is an adult
way to be in the world. But life is not always so wonderful and I would
rather have skilled extropians dealing with issues rather than basking in
the sun sitting on our hands afraid to get involved. Mind you, I mean when
the *time is right* and timing is very important. As we know, not all
battles are worth wadging and the sure-footed wise-person knows which
battles to fight.

>(snip) It has long seemed to me that the traditional mode
>of discourse, argument and rebuttal, is not very successful. I believe
>we have seen mostly failures in our own debates here. We are much more
>successful when we are working cooperatively, brainstorming together,
>bouncing ideas off one another. I would like to see us find a way to
>bring this kind of approach into a larger arena.

It depends on who is debating. The list is not a professional arena and
often emotions flare. I would think that someone very skilled in debating
and who does it professionally, such as Max, is quite adept at making a
debate format a success, as he has done so many times. Therefore, a debate
format would be beneficial, especially up against Rifkin and the likes.
This takes talent and skill as well as a positive type of personality
because a machiavellian type of debater can and does more harm for a cause
than good. I don't think we have to worry about that in Max. Many people
enjoy debating, but not all are authentically good at it. I think we will
see more and more debates in the next years with Max, and I think that his
kindness and humor will be his ally in this regard.

Collaborative brainstorming is best when the environment is creative and
the there is a product to be produced or a problem to be solved. The
tensions are lighter, most people go into a collaborative situation with an
even sensibility rather than a one-uppersonship, so the landscape is more
suitable for an ability to build off of someone else's ideas and improvise
as well.

Both types of environments can be beneficial to dealing with problems and
situations where transhuman ideas are put down or attacked.


Natasha Vita-More:
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