In defense of "Virtual Obsession"

Paul Hughes (
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 15:00:14 -0800

Since several people on this list stated that "Virtual Obsession" was a
net loss for extropianism, I couldn't *disagree* more. VO did more to
promote and spread the idea of indefinite lifespans in 3 hours, what
Star Trek has consistently failed to do in over 30 years. In Star Trek,
despite the fact that they *already have* the means to extend life
indefinitly (transporter tehnology), continue to treat life and old age
as normal, natural and worst of all as "the way it should be". With the
exception of other races, humans continue to live not much longer than
100 years. Anyone who knows anything about longevity should see this as
completely absurd.

VO on the other hand did what I call 'conservative infiltration' - which
is the practice of validating to some degree what another is saying
before you slowly manipulate them into your own way of thinking. Had
the show not taken 'religion' at all seriously and instead been
completely extropian, then it would have lost much of its intended
audience. Keep in mind that more than 70% of Americans still beleive in
god in the traditional sense.

My point: **This was not a show for the converted (us).** Its purpose
was to show the rest of the country that immortality, artificial
intelligence and uploading are right around the corner. In that regard,
I think it did a very good job.

Paul Hughes