Re: Imagination vs. Critical Thought ( was: Sensitive issues)
Tue, 17 Jun 1997 14:00:31 -0400 (EDT)

Rick Knight and Anders Sandberg:

> > It does occur for me that amongst the many contributors to this
> > list, there is a preference for those things most proveable,
> > tangible and material rather than anything etherial, supposed, or
> > otherwise imagined. I think there is validity in both arenas and
> > one should be neither entirely material and pragmatic or lost in
> > the clouds and a naive nudnick for any slick story/meaning of life
> > that comes along.
> I agree with you. But one has to play on the safe side, especially
> when dealing with subjects which have a huge potential for flakiness
> (uploading, nanotechnology, transcending the human condition, the
> singularity, life extension etc). There is mountains of imagined,
> supposed and ethereal stuff out there, but very little practically
> useful stuff in the areas this list deals with. So we need to keep an
> eye on what can and cannot be done, and avoid being swept away by our
> hopes.

Clearly, it depends on what it is one wants to achieve! Mountains of
imagination, unproved suppositions and dreamy etherial musings may not help
you when the cargo door is stuck, but - they make for wonderful music, VR
worlds and new recipes for visual confections... even for a better day...

Anders, you are not so disarmingly critical as many of our male list members,
but Anders, you are also an artist, as I am, and the realm of play and
creativity is COMFORTABLE to us... not so for many of our more critical,
high focus friends...

I understand the concern above.
For myself ... it leaves me feeling that I am being told I have nothing to
contribute to "extroping"...unless I can "prove" a value to art and
creativity, in some objective way. Bluntly ignored by many, or subjected to
dogmatic stodginess of our more technical list members- who critically ( oh
yes, critical thinking is a gift in itself, and I aspire to it) react when
our thoughts turn from technical data and mathmatical theorum to
brainstorming futuristic delights of imagination, artstuff and mind... it
makes me fear for a dreary grey matter world...

I scoff heartily at most so called spiritual people, and find New Age
downright dangerous...because it is one thing to imagine and muse on things
we know aren't real, in hopes of awakening new ideas... and another :
stubbornly pretending the imagined is real...


[everyone knows De Bono's Lateral Thinking, or a great new book: The Muse in
the Machine (Gerlenter MIT), which talks about low focus thought as a
valuable tool....
Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World also gives good insights]