Re: machine-gun who?

Arjen Kamphuis (
Mon, 30 Mar 1998 22:57:17 +0200 (CEST)

At 03:54 30-03-98 -0800, you wrote:
>Damien Broderick [] wrote:
>>Leaving aside the matter of empathy and what such a program would do to the
>>people following such nauseating advice, this is not really the sort of
>>recommendation I would hope to see touted in a gathering of extropians.
>>(But after a couple of years on this list, I'm not altogether *surprised*
>>to see it raised.)
>I suppose I should be equally unsurprised by the lack of reading
>comprehension on the list.

I do not think Damien was commenting specifically on this thread, more on a
general feeling he has after having been on the list for a few years.
I would think that, if it were only from a PR-viewpoint, the fact that he
has such feelings would be reason for concern. Mind you, Damien is someone
who knows many people on this list. What would a complete outsider think if
he read this post as without all the background info (about this list in
general) we all have? We do care what the rest of the world thinks or not?
Based on some selective quotes from the ExI-archives it must be quite easy
by now to paint Transhumanists/Extropians as a bunch of pretty scary people.

>This is nothing new on this list; we've seen many arguments in the past that
>the vast majority of people would be worthless to the first post-humans and
>would be wiped out. The only difference seems to be that I'm pointing out
>that the situation is different today only in scale.

Let's recap _that_

'The vast majority of people would be worthless to the first post-Humans'

I'll agree with that, as I stated before we are already seeing the
beginning of this trough advances in automation, IMHO this is one of the
great social problems of the near-future.

'and would be wiped out'

The way this is stated makes it sound asif many extropians have accepted
this as a fact-accompli (well, that's how can be interpreted anyway). Have

Now, please replace 'people' by, say, 'mentally-retarded persons'. To bring
this logic to todays society. Down-syndrome patients seem to be fairly
useless (from an economic standpoint anyway, as humans they can be great).

Need I say more?

I've always felt that the lenghts to which we go to protect and care for
the weaker members of the species was one of the key things that set humans
apart from animals (certainly one of the most admirable).

I think we need to have a serious discussion about the possible
PR-consequences of statements like these. Maybe I should stay totally out
of it, being a guest on this list, but I really think this issue should be


Arjen Kamphuis | Anyone who hase not been a socialist before | their 25th has no heart, anyone who still
is after his 25th has no brain.
- Sir Winston Churchill

Transcedo, the Dutch Transhumanist site: