Re: Extropian country

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 21 Feb 1998 18:04:41 -0500

David A Musick wrote:

> I understand the romantic appeal of Extropians having their own physical
> country, but I don't understand why Extropians would want to limit
> themselves to a small land area. Aren't we *beyond* thinking of
> countries in terms of land area? Is't it more realistic to think of
> countries in terms of organization, communication and resource movement?

I think that the main reason why we would like our own country isn't just to
have someplace to get away to, but to be able to travel the world as citizens
of a country we can actually beleive in, which does not make so many of the
things we would like to do illegal, and which does not confiscate such a
large percentage of our productive capacity to no measurable benefit. Another
point is to be from a country that isn't hated by so many people. While the
US has fairly high positive ratings from people in other countries, more so
than most, it also has high negative ratings, meaning that people in other
countries tend to be 'firm' in their opinions of the US and Americans.

Still another is to be able to go through your life without having to carry a
wallet full of identification just to make it through an average day
(paraphrasing Robert Heinlein's standard of a rotten society). Another
standard that our society currently fails is that one feels as though you
need body armor to get through the day, but are not allowed to carry that or
anything else you might defend yourself with. To quote Christian Slater,"
Its better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have

Working for the company I currently consult for, I have gained a much greater
understanding of the amount of personal information that many companies have
on each and every person who participates in our consumer economy. I'll bet
that if I wanted to, I could in one hour or less, find out a significant
amount of information about any American on this list, that you would
normally consider to be highly private information. Probably at least some
information you would normally think it would be illegal for me to gain
access to. This is the sort of big brother society that has been warned of,
but everybody is so absorbed in their own consumer satisfaction that they
have no idea of how much of their privacy they have given up.

For example, my mother and sister have at times used the services of Weight
Watchers, and purchased dietary aids. Two of my company's customers, that are
in the mail order business, which both sell clothing for large women,
recently added my mother and sister to their mailing lists. Since I am on a
first name basis with the system administrator at one of these companies, I
asked him how they could get both of them on their mailing list. He said that
they get information from retail drug store chains and from Weight Watchers,
which they cross reference to figure out who the overweight people are. They
also sell this information to the other mail order company.


   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?