Re: What is to be done?

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 19:36:14 -0500

Robin Hanson wrote:
> An anonymous poster says:
> >The overwhelming majority of intelligent and well-educated people to whom I
> >attempt to explain transhumanism react negatively. ...
> >The fact is that we are a tiny minority among a tiny minority. ...
> I think it is very important to develop good models of why this happens.
> ("They laughed at Galileo too" is *not* an especially good model.)
> I strongly disagree with those who have said we should ignore
> critics because they'll just distract us or depress us or whatever.
> The rest of this long post is devoted to this question.

I think the most important thing we need to realize is that everyone
need not be recruited. Widespread recruitment is not necessary, if an
extropian future is to be defined by technological change. In such a
societal trend, they all eventually "will be assimilated".

What I think we need to focus on instead is knowing what we know, we
should make our own plans to maximize the benefits of our knowledge of
the probable future to ourselves. Start Picking extropic stocks, work in
extropic jobs, band together and form extropic corporations.

One area where I think we can be effective in our evangelizing is to
first publish a "Megatrends"-like book that fits in with the
self-improvement/empowerment movement. Rather than depending on us as
individuals (who on average, are not typically charismatic), use this
tome to run extropian based retreats and self-help seminars. Yeah, some
are turned off by this idea, but hey, if it didn't work, people wouldnt
be making millions off of it already, would they? The sort of people
that are already into this sort of thing tend to, in my estimation, be
dynamically optimistic people, so the existing industry is fertile
ground for early assimilation.

If anyone does decide to personally recruit people, get into the habit
of doing a mental pre-screen on people. Develop a list of conversation
topics to delve into people's opinions about things like life extension,
cloning, intelligence amplification, the internet, space development,
etc. Be patient. It does not matter if it takes you a few months of
preliminary screening conversations with individuals to ascertain their
views, maybe even change a few of their ideas that they seem pliable on.
Only once they seem to fit the profile of "undiscovered transhumanist"
should you get really descriptive of us as a movement. If you can, don't
even let on about us until you've determined that they are ready to
accept the term "transhumanist" as describing themselves.