Re: What is to be done?

Julio R. Vaquer (
Sat, 22 Mar 1997 23:26:01 -0700

Kathryn Aegis wrote:
> You have my utmost sympathy for the problems you have encountered in
> attempting to discuss your own closely-held ideas with your friends,
> and I suspect that all transhumanists have encountered a similar
> situation in their own lives.
> My master's degree went into a crash-and-burn a few months ago when
> one of my degree committee members decided that a transhumanist
> emphasis was not something that he could support. And my time at
> Antioch, supposedly a bastion of progressive thinking, was
> characterized by hostility from my classmates towards transhumanist
> ideas. For even mentioning that someday we might move beyond race, I
> was called a racist. For stating that I don't worship anything, I
> was reviled as heartless and cold. For wishing that people could
> learn to relate beyond gender roles, I was considered anti-woman.
> My friends repeatedly urged to me to get out of this bad situation and
> get back to writing, and I finally took that advise. Most of them don't
> relate to the concept of transhumanism, but they at least support me in
> trying to pursue it, and they will listen to me when I talk about it.
> Realistically, only another transhumanist is going to be able to
> relate on that level, and I hope that the Internet lists and the
> efforts of the Extropy institute will aid in everyone finding ways to
> connect with each other.
> Sin,
> Kathryn Aegis


I know it's disheartening to have the negativists affect your personal
acheivements in such a direct manner... We extropians rarely expect get
a unanimous "aye" from any comittee as far as our beliefs are concerned
- but when negativists impede your acquisition of a degree, that can be
a real downer! I've been there (trying to earn a degree) and have not
handled it well.
In the coming months and years, as reality comes closer to our visions
of the future, we should expect stepped-up attacks from the mortalist
side of the isle: luddites, Malthuseans/earth firsters, religionists,
control freaks, Institutional media, etc.. It'll be one big Pre-Mortem
But they will have the least effect on the long-term results. I beleive
that each person falls into one of three groups:

1) Those of us who actively work for and beleive in the transhuman
ideas and ideals (immortalists): A small minority of the population.

2) The people who truly fear advances in technology, freedom and culture
along extropian lines (mortalists): a minority of the population
(perhaps currently larger than the extropian segment).

3) Those who, deep inside, aren't sure so they either stay quite or
mimic the attitude of the day. IMO, the majority.

Both (2) and (3) above can put temporary brakes on advances but the
saving grace is population (3)'s "seeing-is-believing", "show me the
money" attitude. Their philosophy/non-philosophy is a damper but when
economic and life-enhancing results are in, they'll put their money and
their organs where their life is.

Just think about what will happen when the AARP and the baby-boomers are
one and the same. Scientific research in the 40's, 50's, and early
60's seemed to focus on child immunization, birth defects, and other
newborn/early childhood ailment. In the 60's, 70's, 80's and early- to
mid- 90's it was Sexually transmitted diseases (AIDS in the latter part
of this period), drug & alcohol treatment, and workplace disorders.
Already we are starting to see the shift toward cancer, heart problems,
memory disorders, bone problems and mobility issues of the aged. People
will be lighting candles, wearing ribbons, and sewing together quilts to
bring to light these "new" "Crises that society will no longer be able
to ignore".

Like it or not, not only will people start accepting our ideals...
"society will demand it"! Gov't funded of course. Social Security (tax),
Medicare (tax),Precious Gift (organ selling, donation, cloning,
transplant market tax) Second Chance (cryo-fund tax).

Transhumanity/Immortality may not come the way we want it nor the way we
expect it. Not just from extropian acheivements but those of others as