Re: boldest endeavor (in response to Ron Harrison)

From: john grigg (
Date: Mon Apr 03 2000 - 14:29:09 MDT

Ron Harrison wrote:
Maybe it is time for those who wish to acquire health and longevity to do
just that? Let the people who are satisfied with the "natural human
life-span" continue to live with their comfortable thinking.

This may seem at first to be a good strategy but the problem is we will need
the support of the 'comfortable thinkers' to advance our agenda for the
achievement of superlongevity because of negative public attitudes which may
form, spurred on by certain influential special interest groups.

As medical advances in longevity increase so will the resistance to them in
certain quarters of society and these groups may even levy powerful enough
pressure to greatly slow or even stop such research. And so we must 'get
our memes out' in a way that allows the general public to see things in a
positive light and to lessen the hold opposing groups might have on them.
We cannot afford to just sit back and hope 'things work out for the best.'

AI and nanotech are examples of technologies that seem at this point to be
steamrolling forward (given the long view) with corporate and government
desires for profit and power fueling the charge. But again there could be a
cultural backlash against them and so we must be ready to act and react with
the changing currents of society.

We live in an age of powerful special interest groups that can sometimes
very effectively influence public and government attitudes. The founding of
the Extropy Institute, The Foresight Institute and the Life-Extension
Foundation are in part recognition of this fact.

But having a great deal of money really helps this process as the NRA,
Planned Parenthood or the Christian Coalition could attest. The three
organizations I mentioned formerly have nowhere the funding of the latter
three. Perhaps there will be some improvement as time goes on.

Max More and Natasha-Vita More are good examples of transhumanists trying to
use the media itself to get the word out by appearing on various tv and
radio shows that the public tunes into. They don't have a hundred million
dollar budget for advertising and lobbying but I still hear about them in
the mass media quite often. Of course a hundred million dollar budget would
help them out quite a bit.

As for the Bell Curve, the book's point about the intelligent congregating
together in communities and work as the 'nobility of a meritocracy' does
make sense to me but other things about that book were very flawed.

best regards,

John Grigg
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