Re: >H Sort of test

Harvey Newstrom (
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 23:12:01 -0500

Nick Bostrom <> wrote:
> What to you are the boring standard questions are for
> the interviewer the central concerns that her listeners want to hear
> about. The interviewer will feel that her role is to be the sketical
> inquirer that asks challenging questions; it doesn't matter what the
> topic is, her role is always the same (though she can be more or less
> friendly). The repetitiveness of the default questions (which the
> interviewer or the producer will be quite proud of having thought
> of) is probably quite numbing

I must second this! What seem like innane questions and fears to most members of this List actually are the common questions and common attitudes of most of the general public. If I had to pick the biggest flaw in thinking that I see repeated constantly on this List, it would have to be the assumption that most rational people would agree with our views. It just isn't so.

Most people would be terrified to hear about immortals, cryonics, cloning, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, alternative governments, colonizing space, resequencing DNA, taking smart drugs, or augmenting human biology. I seriously predict that all these areas will be outlawed as soon as they become commonly available. Most of humanity is strongly against all these ideas. I think the biggest obstacle to achieving these things is our own inability to predict the public backlash.

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