Re: Can you live forever? Esquire article

J. R. Molloy (
Wed, 12 May 1999 16:43:38 -0700

From: Billy Brown <>

>Brian D Williams wrote:
>> This sounds like the world famous brand of American ethnocentrism
>> talking. Travel more, the world is a much more sophisticated place
>> then we normally think here in the U.S. I'm not throwing stones, I
>> see this lacking in myself as well.
>Actually, it is just the opposite. It is a recognition of the fact that
>people in the rest of the world have their own cultures, philosophies and
>opinions about how things should be done. They aren't going to turn their
>lives upside down just because the American government (or the Europeans,
>the UN) wants them to.

They probably won't turn their lives around for extropianism either. Unless we can provide some hard evidence that we've got something they can't do without (for instance the ability to live forever). Otherwise, they'll fight us with the same ferocity that they used against other invading ideologies.

>If you believe, for example, that the destruction of the Brazilian rain
>forest is evil and stupid, it does no good to rail against it to an
>of Americans. There is precious little we can do about it without
>to a massive application of force. The people you need to convince live in
>Brazil, and that is where you need to concentrate your efforts.

Exellent point. Brazilia stands as a monument to the idiocy of ideological excess -- not to mention its negative impact on the environment.

>You should also recognize that the situation calls for more than just
>proselytizing. Most of the environmental degradation in the Third World is
>not caused by evil western corporations trying to get rich on the backs of
>the poor. Instead, it is caused by huge numbers of impoverished people
>trying to survive as best they can. Telling them to stop will do no good -
>they aren't going to let their children go hungry to preserve a few more
>acres of forest. What you need to do is give them an alternative way of
>providing for themselves that doesn't destroy the land.

Right on. The concept of Overpopulation does not register with them.

>Of course, trying to actually do something effective about the situation
>leads to a whole nest of practical problems, but that is a different issue.

Different issues ought not to faze those who aspire to living forever, ought they?


--J. R.
CEE CEE Rider:
Conservative Existential Empiricist
Consilient Extropian Environmentalist
(with a pancritical rationalist predilection)