Re: Coordinating Sex Roles

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 7 Apr 1997 14:09:42 -0700 (PDT)

> >This is to sneak in the assumption that the rules of the game include
> >the social norms. In that case, certainly knowing your opponents
> >available choices and likely coices and payoffs is necessary to win
> >the game. But the "rules" of the game of life are not constrained by
> >society, only by the nature of reality. To play a fair game unbound
> >by the shackles of convention requires learning the rules of reality,
> >not the rules of society.
> You're setting a false dichotomy here. Society is quite "real" and unless
> you think you can single-handedly change the rules of society, they are part
> of reality.

The original question posed was along the lines of "What social norms
should we teach our children to prepare them for the coming transhuman
world?", and my answer is "None; teach them how to create their own
norms by giving them the principles from which they derive, and letting
them reason for themselves."

I recognize that these norms and assumptions are real--all too real,
having just written a check to the IRS. But that doesn't mean I'm
going to teach my son "pay your taxes", I'm going to teach him "I pay
taxes because the government has a gun to my head, but they are evil,
and I hope you will be able to abolish them in the future and deal
with other people by voluntary exchange instead." The reason I teach
him this is that I believe it represents reality, even though it may
not be what most people believe. He will learn the principle, and
then work toward creating norms that reflect it, and maybe work
around the existing ones as I do in the meantime.

I'm sure there were parents during the time when such social norms
as slavery and enforced gender roles were common who taught their
children that slavery was wrong, and that women had rights. I admire
them, but I admire even more those who explained /why/ they were wrong,
and gave their children the tools to not only abandon the morally
repulsive norms of their parents, but their own as well.

I will teach my child that yes, you /can/ single-handedly change the
rules of society, because you have that most marvelous of all tools,
the human mind. Every advance in society was first imagined by some
individual, communicated to others, validated, championed, and put in
place by the work of individuals. Your mind has the same abilities
as Francis Bacon's or Thomas Paine's, and you have more information
and experience to draw from, so your decisions can be better than
theirs--and better than mine. I won't just teach you my ideas, I
will teach you how to find even better ones.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>  <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC