Re: What is to be done?
Sat, 22 Mar 1997 19:07:05 -0500 (EST)

In a message dated 97-03-22 13:28:08 EST, you write:

<< 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. >>

I don't mind convincing the public when some government agency wants to ban
cloning. But, I see no reason to have to go down to the basics for my
friends who call me stupid for being pro-technology, pro-science,
pro-immortality and stated they will work against me at every turn. I expect
more from my friends.

The problem is Ayn Rand wanted to argue to change people's minds by
intellectual force and intimidation. She would not let them alone, got
herself and them mad and burned bridges. That's too rigid for me.

I'm much more interested in letting friends think what they want. Seek first
to understand, then and only then be understood. But if what they think is
too far from what I am working on. I let them alone and do my own thing. If
they come closer to me eventually, that's fine. I might get closer to their
way of thinking too.

But, the post about the very negative friend at lunch was too close to
Seligman, Browne and my Florida friend's situation for me. A person who is
so totally negative is not close enough in thinking to even discuss as Greg
Burch ----<>- suggested doing. There would be no way to
approach such a person "gradually" as Greg Burch ----<>-
suggested, at least not during _that_ lunch. Things had gone too far
afield. Only bridge burning would had been the result that day.

All the better to have a second lunch starting with: "I thought a lot about
what you said. I understand why you currently see things that way. There
are a lot of fears and questions, but I think there are three things you
might want to consider besides."

"First, more people communicate faster than ever to solve problems, take the
Internet for example. That's extropic. Second, science is being discussed
more than ever publicly. There are few surprises in science, take cloning as
an example. People have been talking about it since the 1950's. That's been
in very main stream speculative fiction for years. And finally, life
expectancy and health technology is increasing because people are working
hard to make a better quality of life for themselves. That's what extropy is
for. What's the alternative? I can't believe you would want people to work
hard for a _poorer_ standard of living and an increasing death rate, right?"

(Can see why I'm no diplomat?)


Davin C. Enigl, (Sole Proprietorship) MEAS

Microbiology Consulting, Hazard Analysis and
Critical Control Points (HACCP), CGMP, and Validations
for the Food, Cosmetic, Nutritional Supplement, and Pharmaceutical Industry

March 22, 1997
12:44 pm