Re: FAQ Additions (Posthuman mind control)

Harvey Newstrom (
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:05:07 -0500

den Otter <> wrote:
> We can scientifically prove that we're right, something that the others
> can't. Also, we can scientifically prove that the other memes will usually
> deminish one's quality of life, and *always* lead to the permanent
> destruction of the host. Our intentions are good, and our methods
> are sound. It doesn't get any better than that.

I agree with everything you are saying about why scientific reality is better than religious radicalism. However, you must realize that all the scientific proof won't convince the Religious Right? They claim that science prooves dinosaurs never existed, the Bible is 100% true, and that prayer is good for you. I think everybody believes that their chosen path is the most rational and proveable if everyone else would just listen to reason.

The point is, how do we handle the cosexistance of conflicting viewpoints? If you answer is to set up a rational thought council to determine what is right, and to outlaw false beliefs, we'd all be in trouble. You do realize that most rational scientists think cryonics, nanotechnology, and life-extension are radical pipe-dreams, don't you? If we start outlawing false ideas, we end up with a Thought Police. Even if the Thought Police start out agreeing with you, I'm sure they'd eventually come up with some theory of yours that goes against accepted norms and must be abolished.

> Transhumanism, in its pure rationalist form, is simply the most
> practical, user-friendly meme around. The only one which really
> has the potential to provide eternal life, freedom and happiness.
> Through technology and reason we shall overcome, so to speak.

I'm afraid that you are projecting your own rational beliefs onto the rest of the world. What you just said above would scare 90% of the population into thinking you are a mad scientist wacko. Most people I know do not want eternal life, do not want to even extend their lifespan, and have know idea what freedom or happiness are. If you think most people would choose transhumanism once exposed to it, you are sadly mischaracterising the common public.

> What we want is the elimination of bad memes. As the religion/
> communist/fascist etc. memes are apparently more efficient
> at taking people over than rationalism, individualism and
> transhumanism, it would probably be necessary to support
> those memes by actively suppressing the bad ones. After
> a while (a couple of generations) the new memes would probably
> have become ingrained enough in the mainstream to make it on
> their own. Perhaps. After all, it is no coincidence that memes like
> religion have dominated human history.

I am all for the promotion of good ideas. I am totally opposed to the use of force to suppress bad ideas. This very concept implies that I should not choose for myself what is good or bad, but that laws enacted by the state will enforce proper thought.

> > Won't this lead to the
> > State being run by Thought Police?
> It is *already* run by thought police (only their methods are still
> relatively crude), so what's there to lose?

But your ideas will give the state more power and lead us further into the control of the Thought Police. Are you arguing that the current state of things are good, and we want more?

Harvey Newstrom <>
Author, Consultant, Engineer, Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.