Re: An Extropian Nation ??!

Tony Hollick (
Sat, 21 Jun 97 11:54 BST-1


In message , said:

>The brilliance of these people lies not in their product (what
>product?), but in their initial choice to "be in control." Power is the
>ultimate end of all human societal interaction. I see us here every day
>debating how mankind may finally have power over his fate. The notion of
>extropy is a power-hungry invention. Dammit, we *CAN* be what we want to
>be! This is arrogance, this is claiming power, and this I love.

Really? Think about this:

>>>physics/general 1 anduril(2791)1may93 5:47 *

"... seen as the result of human endeavour, of human dreams, hopes, pass-
ions, and most of all, as the result of the most admirable union of creative
imagination and rational critical thought, I should like to write 'Science'
with the biggest capital 'S' to be found in the printer's upper case.

"Science is not only like art and literature, an adventure of the human
spirit, but it is among the creative arts perhaps the most human: full of
human failings and shortsightedness, it shows those flashes of insight
which open our eyes to the wonders of the world and of the human spirit.
But this is not all. Science is the direct result of that most human of all
human endeavours - to liberate ourselves. It is part of our endeavour to see
more clearly, to understand the world and ourselves, and to act as adult,
responsible and enlightened beings. 'Enlightenment', Kant wrote, 'is the
emancipation of man from self-imposed tutelage . . . from a state of in-
capacity to use his own intelligence without external guidance. Such a
state of tutelage I call "self-imposed" if it is due not to any lack of
intelligence but the lack of courage or determination to use one's own
intelligence instead of relying upon a leader. *Sapere Aude!* Dare to use
your own intelligence! This is the maxim of the enlightenment.' [ref. 6,
'Was ist Aufklarung?']

"Kant challenges us to use our intelligence instead of relying upon a
leader, upon an authority. This should be taken as a challenge to
reject even the scientific expert as a leader, or even *science itself*
Science has no authority. It is not the magical product of the given,
the data, the observations. It is not a gospel of truth. It is the result
of our own endeavours and mistakes. It is you and I who make science,
as well as we can. It is you and I who are responsible for it...

"The nuclear bomb (and possibly also the so-called 'peaceful use of
atomic [fission - TH] energy' whose consequences may be even worse in the
long run) have, I think, shown us the shallowness of the worship of science
as an 'instrument' of our 'command over nature' or the 'control of our
physical environment': it has shown us that this command, this control, is
apt to be self-defeating, and apt to enslave us rather than to make us
free - if it does not do away with us altogether. And while knowledge is
worth dying for, power is not. (Knowledge is one of the few things that
are worth dying for, together with liberty, love, kindness, and helping
those who are in need of help)."

by Karl R. Popper

from "Realism and the Aim of Science"

Volume I of "The Postscript to The Logic of Scientific Discovery"

Edited by William Warren Bartley, III,

Publ. Hutchinson, 1983, pb. 1985

Copyright Karl Raimund Popper 1956, 1983

I support Karl Popper totally in this.