Re: What is to be done?
Sat, 22 Mar 1997 13:20:35 -0500 (EST)

In a message dated 97-03-22 10:40:58 EST, you write:

<< It sounds like you have already been brainwashed by this person's own
clinical depression. Now it's YOUR responsibility not to get dragged into
the same depression.

It is true that the message this person departed to "Velociman'' may be
depressing to transhumanists. It certainly is true that a dynamic optimist
would not let him/herself be dragged into this level of thinking.
BUT- if this sentiment guarantees 'clinical' 'unipolar'depression the whole
planet may be suffering from the condition and a good dose of medication in
the water supply would make all of our philosophizing obsolete.
Is it diagnosis from an armchair? I am not saying you are hand waving,
perhaps you are a psychiatrist and have the correct data for diagnosis, or
first hand knowledge of the party. Perhaps you have a strong case for your

I liked these two posts, both were intriguing enough to delurk me from the
list reading/deleting position.
I see it as positive, not negative. Please address these issues openly and
These people raise serious important questions and fears about Transhuman and
Extropian goals, which are addressed somewhat in the writings of Max More on
tthe website, but I could gladly see discussed more.
Especially the 'sour lunch' thread gave me much food for thought. I could
relate, because i address these same concerns in many a conversation.
Ayn Rand was stubborn about not addressing a lot of issues, blythely
dismissing people with hand waving judgementalizing (perhaps accurate, but
not always), and it earned her some disdain in intellectual circles.This is
unfortunate, since so much of her philosophy is useful in reasoning through
the many issues of 'negative' people's concern. Refusal to take other
people's concerns seriously, especially when raised in polite, rational ways,
will not serve us as knowledge seekers or in spreading memes. It can also
create blind spots in our own psyche (IMHO).

One of the things I enjoy most about Extropians is the less dogmatic approach
to theories. I have seen a few 'rigid' thinkers on this list, but usally even
they are open to being persuaded, if and only if - someone can prove them to
be wrong. They welcome this, in an honest attempt to improve self and
knowledge of objective reality. And skeptics in general must keep an open
mind, for that is the in definition of skeptic.