RE: Mainstreaming--wasRe: US bill to ban all forms of human cloning

From: xgl (
Date: Sat Apr 28 2001 - 14:20:16 MDT

On Sat, 28 Apr 2001, Ben Goertzel wrote:

[reformated to fit the page]
> My suggestion is that a MAJOR FOCUS of the transhumanist effort be
> the assisting of the economically less fortunate, so that all of
> humanity can move into the transhuman era together.
> Of course, I have an "ulterior motive" here in that I think this is a
> good thing to do in itself.
> But, I also think that nothing could be more effective in terms of
> associating transhumanism, in the public eye, with ~moral good~.

        i think it's a good idea to shift our focus closer to the present.
show how technology, when used wisely, can solve problems in the here
and now. admittedly, i feel that buck for buck, siai or webmind are
probably better investments. but a small change in pr may have a
climactic impact on a broad range of transhumanist ventures that's
beyond my linear mind to foresee. in any case, the question is this:
organized religions have food drives to feed the hungry all the time,
what will we do differently?

> I have a number of specific ideas along these lines, but I think I'll
> leave it at that for the moment. Except to suggest one thing:
> ~Education~ would be a natural place to start. Education in the
> inner cities of the US and in the Third World. What if there were a
> Transhumanist Foundation, whose focus was on educating the
> economically unfortunate in topics relevant BOTH to their own
> individual advancement AND to their understanding of the transhuman
> future to come. For example, science, philosophy, computer science.

        education (or the lack thereof) is certainly a key issue. but how
many parents would want their child going to a school affiliated with
some semi-myterious organization that they've never heard of? and
if we successfully innoculate the students against irrational
memes, will we face charges of brain-washing, a la scientology?

> It costs about $14K to sponsor a school in Cambodia. The Brazilian
> government is sponsoring an initiative to create a $400 computer
> system -- a "mini Net-connected Linux box for the masses." If the
> Transhumanist Foundation were involved in this sort of thing, we
> wouldn't be perceived as a bunch of freaks out to harvest other
> peoples' organs for money so we can pay for having our ugly little
> heads frozen... we'd be perceived as the saviors of the world...

        in a sense, i guess foreign testbeds are simpler in that they have
less existing infrastructure that get in the way of change. we
could sponsor a school with less fear of being sued. we could equip a
village to become self-sufficient without too much capital up-front.
but from past discussions, i do recall the issue of corrupt local
thugs/warlords/governments, etc. i have no idea on whether and to
what extent this would be an obstacle though.

        finally, all this hinges on our ability to organize and raise
funds. of course, it is a lot more difficult to organize in the
absense of a concrete cause. so maybe we should draw up a list of
potential ventures first.


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