Re: SciFi&Eco: Back to the Future?

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Mon Jan 15 2001 - 17:29:48 MST

On Mon, Jan 15, 2001 at 05:18:38PM -0500, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> However, under the pretext of the novel, all non-Alphas were as they
> were *by design*.

Yup. The first priority of the world government is *stability*. So once
they've got a working system, they modify people to fit the system, not
vice versa.

(Note that it wasn't written as a utopia.)

> .... This theoretical concept of a fully alpha'd
> society supported completely by an automated society of robots was
> posited in the end but untested (what had been tested was the idea of
> Alphas filling every position in society, including drudgework
> positions). Huxley could not extrapolate this accurately because such a
> society has never occured before.

I think he did pretty well for 1939 ...

> While your 'short step' is something a luddite would accuse an extropian
> of, we'd rather advocate that everyone receive genetic therapy in the
> womb to maximize all potentials

Hint: I don't disagree with you here. (Shameless self-publicity: I just
sold a couple of novellas to Asimov's SF magazine that, among other things,
touch on just this theme ...)

>(as well as mandate that those that
> choose to use their bodies as person manufacturing facilities behave in
> compliance with OSHA regulations: i.e. no smoking, exposure to smoke or
> other toxic substances like alchohol, drugs, etc.) I'm for maximizing
> liberty, including that of the occupant of that person manufacturing
> facility.


> Optimally its rights should not be any less important than the
> mothers.

I'll agree with the "optimally". In practice, that ain't going to happen
until pregnancy is a 100% *deliberately incurred* condition -- prerequisites
for which I see as including (a) very cheap, totally effective, safe
contraception, and (b) universal sex education.

(I assume that you're not advocating banning abortion at this time. Are you?)

-- Charlie

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