Re: Words Hurt

Dan Fabulich (
Fri, 24 Apr 1998 18:00:22 -0400


Erik Moeller wrote:
>For a
>start, don't evaluate whether they are good or bad but whether they are
>pratically possible in today's political and economic power structures.

There are few, if any, free markets today. There will be few, if any, by
sunrise tomorrow morning. This does not demonstrate that there could not
be or should not be a lot more free markets in the future.

>have agreed with me in the past that today's big industry supports
>government because they get in trouble without them. Do you really think you
>stand any chance against The Powers That Be [TM]?

Frankly, yes, and I'm not alone. Yes, BECAUSE I'm not alone.

>*Or* you just leave them
>do anything they want to do and watch the world go to hell.

Obviously, we don't think the world goes to hell when the people can have
what they want. Why? Because people don't want their world to go to hell.
So instead they take steps to protect themselves from others who would
harm them, and work with others to make their own lives better. As a
result, the world gets better, not worse, when people can do what they want.

>There is no freedom of mind, no
>free will or whatever you call it. Decisions are dependant on information.
>You can make the masses think what you want if you got the media.

Partly right, partly wrong. I'm a soft-determinist: I think that you have
free will if you do not know your own fate. However, with respect to the
media, CAN I actually make the masses think what I want, given control of
the media? It seems to me that in most places where the government has
taken control of the media, most people don't believe the media, especially
with respect to the government. (Singapore leaps to mind.) So I think
you'd have to defend this a little better.

>Then there's this strange desire for immortality, which I do not oppose but
>cannot understand. You get immortal through your deeds, not through your
>biological existence. If you live forever but achieve little or nothing,
>what's your immortality worth?

My immortality is worth nothing if I don't do anything with it. That's why
none of us wants to become immortal and then do nothing forever. :)
Personally, I want to become immortal so I can do MORE "deeds" with my
life, achieve more, build more. I also doubt the meme that a well
remembered dead man is not dead. This is at best a misleading metaphor,
and at worst a euphemism.

>Then there's Extropy itself, the idea of
>bringing order into the universe, colonizing space & building up space
>industry. Most of these ideas are either derivated from the false free
>market meme or from old thinking (strive for room to live in, colonize other

Actually, I know several anarcho-socialists who think it would be fun to
visit Mars and to explore the rest of our galaxy, at least one of whom
would like to build a city off planet. Not because it's too crowded on
earth or because there isn't enough here to live for, (I think there is, so
do they,) but because it's an exciting idea. This is not a free market
phenomenon, nor is this the argument from overcrowding.

>But if you do not even allow criticism on the list, these points will never
>be discussed and revised for most Extropians.

This is not the only place where I talk about extropianism, and I DO
endorse criticism. Why do you presume that whenever we try to have a
positive conversation on extropy, we're trying to crush its critics?

>If you give me a tag to
>include in messages criticizing Extropian thinking, I'd be happy.

This bears some merit. I recognize that this list is for positive
discussion, but would it hurt much to change the policy, adding that people
who want to criticize extropianism should have to add the subject prefix
"ANTI:" to their posts?

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