Re: Glowing Grass

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sun Jul 09 2000 - 13:34:42 MDT

"Randy Smith" <> writes:

> >>>The luddites are well organized, have a simple, consistent theme
> >>and are
> >>getting better and better at getting themselves insserted into every
> >>single
> >>news item announcing any progress. I'm sorry to say it, but as someone
> >>who
> >>works in the arena of public persuasion, I have to say we're losing -- and
> >>badly.
> >
> >Indeed, THEY HAVE THE AGENDA CLEAR. They know what the fight is about, they
> >know what methods to use, and who their enemies and their friends are. I
> >think it really is time to stop "playing around with computers" , and move
> >transhumanism into a more political agenda.
> >
> So what are you suggesting? Just trying to counter them in the media?
> There is no sizzle to that idea. The Luddites are famous for their acts of
> Eco-Terrorism. Perhaps if someone were to counter their Eco-Terrorism with
> acts of Counter-Eco-Terrorism. Now *that* would be newsworthy!
> But they are somewhat secretive, I suppose.

No, that would anyway just amount to "Let's look at the lunatics beat
up each other" in the media, while the non-ecoterrorist luddites
quietly win the game.

What this is really about is changing the public perception not just
about genetically modified plants, but about the future, themselves
and technology - a quite ambitious agenda, but we have selected that
one for ourselves by being transhumanists. It would be easier to be
just pro-viagra or whatever, but that just means that you can win on a
small scale while losing on the larger scale.

I think Waldemar would like us to formulate a clear agenda. WHAT DO WE
WANT? - practically, in the next years.

I think our list of demands/goals would be something along these lines:

* Innovation, research and technology should be free, and must not be
  controlled or stopped by political or ideological
  concerns. Dangerous or controversial technology can be handled
  through other ways than coercion and banning.

* Humans should be free, not just along the traditional freedoms but
  also having morphological freedom - the freedom of altering
  themselves after their own wishes and abilities.

* Society should be open. It must be possible to criticise, analyse
  and debate all issues, and demand accountability of the people
  making decisions (be they in the government, big business or the

This follows from the Extropian and Transhumanist Principles, and I
think most of us will agree on it (there will always be some people
who think one or more of the points are bad and that the best way of
promoting transhumanism is technocracy, but that is their
problem). They also have a lot of practical implications, as well as
obvious tie-ins to many other political issues and groups.

This suggests that as a first step we should try to connect with these
groups, show that we support their causes and that we can provide
valuable help (for example by being well versed in what is occuring in
high-tech right now and having a long-range view) as well as an
ally. We should formulate our visions clearly and express them openly,
showing that we are not threatening elitists and that our ideas
actually can work in the real world (unlike many of the ideas of our
opponents - as we also ought to be able to show clearly). (At least)
a letter to the editor or article to a local newspaper each week would
be a good idea for each of us.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:34:18 MDT