Tools, toys? (was Re: Why preserving BioDiversity is Extropian

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Sun, 15 Feb 1998 09:07:39 -0800

With respect, _my_ well being is not my ultimate goal. I have loftier
aspirations. I'd rather uplift the whole race than beat them to the finish
line. :)

Also, your argument about crisis driving solutions is indeed a
characteristic of human action patterns. I suggest it support's de Bono's
rubric that "the primary purpose of thinking [in terms of the mass of
humanity--MMB] is to abolish thinking [and get back to the comfort zone

Trotsky and many terrorcrats agree. That doesn't make you wrong, but it
does mean that you should take a close look at who your eschatological
bedfellows are.

Me, I plan to develop the field of _Elective_ Eschatology. :)

Further comments follow.

At 04:23 PM 2/15/98 +0100, you wrote:
>Paul Hughes:
>> So until I have a better undertanding of the complex web of
>> interconnections that is this bioshpere, I am not going to rush out and
>> kill some species that may turn out to be essential later for my long
>> term survival.

den Otter:
>With the arrival of full-blown nanotech, AI, uploading and the like the
>of earth will no longer be significant to our survival. In fact, worsening
>conditions might actually have a positive effect by bringing the
singularity nearer.
>In emergency situations, there is often more progress than usual, just
look at the
>Ice Age(s), the two World Wars and the Cold War. Ok, it's a gamble, but a

>and sometimes decrease it (like when wiping out a disease/other threat).
>complexity = good is just a pointless dogma. Your well-being is the ultimate
>goal, everything else is just a tool. Really.

Very well: I declare that my well-being is influenced positively by
increased diversity in my environment. Prove to me that I err. :)

I would argue that everything else is *not* a tool--it is _raw materials_;
but some of it is reserves, and some of those are raw material for
experiences that I can't have if it is destroyed (the Grand Canyon, Mount
Fuji, Jack Russell Terrier puppies, pet ferrets, potential lovers,
Barringer Meteor Crater, my wonderful nieces and nephews, etc. etc.).

If everything else is a tool, then all you are is a user.

Go ahead, prove I'm wrong. :)



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