Re: IP was: My Extropian Manifesto...

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Mon Aug 14 2000 - 12:53:08 MDT

Josephine Smith wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jason Joel Thompson <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2000 10:53 PM
> Subject: Re: IP was: My Extropian Manifesto...
> Sunday, August 13, 2000 10:53 PM, Jason Joel Thompson wrote:
> > Mike quoted:
> >
> > > "A person who wants a society that is both safe and free, wants what
> > > never
> > > has been, and what never will be." --- Thomas Jefferson
> >
> >
> > Ah, there's the rub. Why are so many people so mentally/philosophically
> > challenged at the prospect of negotiating a non-absolute line of
> compromise
> > between these two concepts?
> Ever come across the idea of finding a *common preference*?

One thing I've found is that most people fit into the classic scene from
Stranger in a Strange Land, where Mike the Martian doesn't understand people at
all until he is at the zoo one day, and sees a monkey with some food. A bigger
monkey comes along and takes his food away, so he goes and takes food away from
a smaller monkey, who does the same to a smaller monkey. A large percent of the
population is locked into this little fascist/serf mindset. They think that they
are normal, but 'that other guy' is sick, twisted, criminal, 'not our kind,
dear' who needs to have his rights stripped from him and locked up for the good
of himself and themselves. People have forgotten the classical liberal ethic,
because liberalism has been twisted by the last century of class warfare and
racial strife. When you wear people down from too much conflict, strife, and
change, they will vote for those that promise them relief. How can you change
this? There needs to be a memetic campaign to program people to embrace change.
Not an easy thing to do. It needs to be low key, involving writers of fiction
and non-fiction, as well as news columnists, pundits, and personalities.

One idea I've had is a twist on the old 'the more things change, the more they
stay the same'. This saying seems to be typically a cynics view of change, that
the basic flaws of the human animal is still doing the same dumb destructive
things today that he did as a savage. Turing this around, take advantage of the
romantic view most people have toward 'the olden days' of apple pie, baseball,
soda fountains, and other Norman Rockwell scenery. Trying to show in our
literature how the changes coming up in the future can allow people to recapture
that sense of small town community again. For example, telecommuting allows
people to live and work as independent business people in whatever small town
they wish to live in, doing work for some big company hundreds or thousands of
miles away in a nearly invisible way. Mom and dad can actually stay home to
raise their kids rather than both working 50-60 hour workweeks elsewhere and
leaving their kids home alone with nothing but the tv and video games.

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