Re: Understanding Extropian Principles

Peter C. McCluskey (
Sat, 31 May 1997 09:17:45 -0700 ("Rick Knight") writes:
> Right now, the soft drink companies (as well as the tobacco) companies
> are establishing international markets with people who are delighted
> to have their products but are totally oblivious to the consequences,

I am a lot more cautious than you are about assuming that consumers
who evaluate products differently than I do are ignorant. I don't want
other people deciding what's best for me as a consumer, and I expect
other people to not want me trying to make their decisions for them.

> health wise and environment wise as well (can you imagine all of China
> with Coke with dispensed ice in plastic/paper cups?)

Trying to fight trash by moving investment dollars out of companies
whose environmental effects are as ordinary as Coke's is one of the
least cost-effective strategies around, as you are fighting a very
broad profit motive. If a company clearly stands out for doing things
that neither I nor the people affected by those actions approve of,
I will avoid them, but I don't expect this to accomplish much unless
it is targetted against actions that offend a large fraction of the
A more effective strategy for environmentalism is to channel people's
selfishness in the right direction, by improving legal systems so that
the costs of environmental harm are born by people who have control
over those costs. For example, taxpayer financed trash collection should
be replaced by a system in which people who want their trash removed pay
something related to the costs of disposing of that trash.

> So, no, altruism need not be the primary goal of an Extropian way of
> thinking but it certainly should be pressing on the minds of those
> that are claiming a post human destiny and it should show up in their
> lifestyle. You don't evolve just one part of your existence, you
> evolve the whole thing: mind, body and spirit.

Of course I should try to evolve all aspects of my existence. I see
no reason why altruism is the right direction to evolve towards.

> If Extropians have no
> concern of the latter, it's an incomplete and imbalanced philosophy
> and I should continue my search for a more full-spectrumed approach to
> conscious, biological and social evolution.

I see no reason to expect any one philosophy to be complete.

Peter McCluskey |                        | "Don't blame me. I voted | | for Kodos." - Homer Simpson |     |