Re: Debate Failure (was: SOC: Opposition to Transhumanism)

From: Menno Rubingh (
Date: Thu Jan 06 2000 - 04:43:21 MST

Joseph Sterlynne quoted on Wed, 5 Jan 2000:

> Hal Finney

> I believe we have seen mostly failures in our own
>debates here.

Allow a new list subscriber to say that he thinks that this is too pessimistic
a view. I think that this mailing list, apart from really hugely inspiring
people, also really *does* prod people -- or that part of them who are/were
likely to exhibit any action anyway -- into more effective action, into more
effective ways of cooperation, and into a clearer perspective on and clearer
formulation of their goals; and from what I hear personally from some local,
older, list subscribers, many people think that so far this mailing list *has*
done these things admirably well.

These open debates on this list may *seem* not to lead directly to many
immediate and tangible results, but I think that view disregards the many very
useful and fruitful cooperations and ideas that people subscribed to this
mailing list *are* gaining from this list -- and about which the people who
are individually benefiting and who (after some listening in and contributing
to discussions on this list) just quietly go do things perhaps send back
(?too) little feed-back.

    (For example, the Dutch >H organization "Transcedo", perhaps the 2nd
oldest European >H organization, was started about 4 or 5 years ago by 4
people who met each other on *this* mailing list; in its turn, this local
Dutch group 2.5 years ago organized the first European >H gathering which
has now snowballed into a solid annual event (called "TransVision") with a
significant momentum of its own, and which in its turn again is I think
amazingly (and unexpectedly) much helping Transhumanism and Extropianism in
Europe getting organized. The local Dutch group is enjoying growing attention
from national media; and is enjoying a steadily increasing influx of new local
people interested in Transhumanism; all of this will help strengthen the >H
'movement' and will give it more man- and brain-power. If it were not for the
discussions on this mailing list and the things inspired by them, then I think
Transhumanism in Europe might still be nearly non-existent.)

Simply by being there as an open forum for exchange of ideas connected with
Transhumanism/Extropianism, I think that this mailing list already *has* a lot
of the effects and results you say are lacking from the debates on this list.
Perhaps the link between discussions and tangible results is less direct and
immediate than you want, but then again maybe the effects of these discussions
are mostly occurring in a more indirect, not centrally organized and/or
policed, i.e. in a 'Spontaneous Order' :-) kind of way.

Best regards, Menno (;

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