Re: A Message to the Membership

From: Robert Owen (
Date: Thu Jan 06 2000 - 14:57:11 MST

Robert Bradbury wrote:

> > What this suggests to me is not a need for political action but the
> > consideration of the possibility of private ownership of the requisite
> > technology by an incorporation of Transhumanist interests. If you
> > reply that this leaves the possibility of expropriation by the State
> > open, I must agree. But at what point do we desist from the pro-
> > jection of possible impediments and get on with it?
> >
> This is being discussed. It is also being examined from the framework of
> how to deal with possible efforts by states to regulate the technologies.
> We must keep in mind that we are dealing with people who have been
> programmed with memes, the acceptence of which they generally did not
> have conscious awareness of. So their "agenda" is potentially harmful
> for both us *and* them. We would be highly "un"-extropic if we were
> to take our toys and go play elsewhere if we could reasonably devote
> some energy to "free the minds" of those individuals.

[1] With respect to a program of public education involving e.g. a nation-
wide speakers' bureau, free mutimedia downloads (even an Extropian
Screensaver from the Institute), a media-relations department for the
development of timely releases, propaganda and personal appearances,
a Community Organization department to explore and expedite inter-
group alliances based on mutual self-interest and resource-sharing and
the availability of promotional materials using the Web as a distribution
network combined with an appeal for new "memberships" and meaningful
gifts and donations, such as trusts and endowments, and the develop-
ment of what could be called an "Advisory Board", "Consultants" or
"Contributing Scientists and Technologists" etc. consisting of easily-
recognized and prestigious individuals, and so on -- this would certainly
be a desirable means of influencing public opinion without the hassle of
forming a registered PAC or employing a lobbyist. This latter is what I
mean by "political action" -- anything less in my view is largely an exercise
in futility.

[2] As a question for the Legal Department: Suppose "Extropianism" were
redefined as a "religion"; what protections and advantages would this
afford (at the price of some hypocrisy and double-think)? I am not
referring to mere tax exemptions, but to e.g. the ability of legislative
bodies to impose constraints on practice without violating Church-State


Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA

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