Re: Radio interview, pro-Act, >Hist Politics

From: Natasha Vita-More (
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 14:00:59 MST

At 02:35 AM 1/20/02 -0500, James wrote:

>Did you tape it? It was my first interview, and I didn't tape it or
>transcribe it. If you have a chance, send me a copy of the tape. I'd love to
>hear it for historical purposes.

I don't know if I have it on tape, but I have most of the questions and my
answers, which I will gladly post.

>I'd love to interview you again, eventually. But as you know I've been
>trying to get Max to agree to an interview for several years now, and he has
>refused to respond to four formal requests. Perhaps you could get him to
>just let me know whether he refuses to ever appear on my show or not.

Regarding Max not responding to your requests, it isn't that he "refused",
but that he either didn't have time, out of town, etc. He did say that he
is not interested in doing your show if you continue to misrepresent
extropians and ExI.

>As for the articulateness of the political perspective that we need to
>develop, I think things are moving along nicely now that there are a growing
>diversity of voices. I don't think it makes sense to expect a single
>transhumanist politics to emerge, or for >Hists to reinvent the wheel.
>Rather I would like to see the WTA comes to emcompass >Hists with views
>ranging from libertarianism (the extrops) to social democracy, and together
>we can express a United Front against the Luddites and the fascists (alleged
> >Hists and otherwise).

James, please think about what you are saying. You continue to push and
prod to set up extropians as being definitively libertarian to give WTA's
new plan a reason to exist. I understand the marketing: Make A. appear to
be X and B appear to be Y and you have a reason why X and Y are
incompatible, or Y vs. X. What you are not acknowledging is that A
contains aspects of Y and X, as well as Z.

If you accepted that extropians are not only or just "libertarians", you
wouldn't have an argument. This is the point I have been trying to make to
you and your peers which does not seems to latch on. Once you realize that
this argument doesn't hold you will have to come up with an other cause for
WTA. I think this really needs to be addressed or there can be no true

Well-known business analyst Al Ries's outlines a marketing language --
"positioning" yourself and repositioning existing organizations to make
more room for yourself. (The best selling book _Positioning the Battle for
the Mind_ outlines this strategy.) Trying to put ExI or extropians in a
small corner of transhumanism and claim all the rest while also welcoming
that small corner, is a clear machination of the true situation.

I had hoped that WTA would realize its original premise of being an
academic organization. I don't know why that didn't work, but trying to be
a "new" political organization for transhumanists is going run into some
problems. It simply won't work with the current strategy, which I stated

>I think it would be a wonderful step in this process for you to organize
>Pro-Act as a >Hist 501.c.4, i.e. a political lobby, and begin to do the
>things that lobbys do: raise money from (especially) wealthy (but also
>plebian) donors, identify >Hist candidates to support (hopefully both Dem
>and Rep), channel money to them, and then work the halls of Congress on
>behalf of our political interests:
>- More funding for scitech education and research, esp. nanotech,
>silicon-neural interface, etc.
>- Stop the Luddite anti-reprotech and anti-cloning laws
>- End the Drug War
>- Fund the space program
>'course I'd also argue for expanding the agenda in a social justice
>direction (bridging the digital divide, national health insurance to cover
>high tech procedures for the poor) but I can't expect perfection...
>That would make a real contribution, and I suspect that you might just be
>the right person to put the squeeze on a lot of rich businessmen.

Yes, this would be great. And, time will tell. I certainly would like to
see some changes made. At this moment the only entity I'm squeezing is my
delightful husband and our cats -:)

I do think there is a way, a manner, in dealing with the businesspeople who
need a way to unload some money for worthy causes. They would need a tax
write off for it and proud of the association it brings them. This is what
I'm currently thinking about.


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