Re: regarding the YINYANG post on extropians

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Jul 27 2001 - 09:23:58 MDT

On Thu, Jul 26, 2001 at 12:41:47PM -0500, Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> Just as religion has the "Problem with Evil", I believe scientists have the
> "Problem with Idiots". How can we make decisions or influence people who
> don't even understand what we are talking about? How can we choose the best
> course of action when most people are scared to try anything new? I would
> love to jump on the bandwagon to wipe out false religions and incorrect
> thinking. But we can't even agree in this forum on everything. There is no
> way that a nation-wide or world-wide consensus will ever come up with the
> options I want.

Yes. But I think it is a fallacy that we all need to move in the same
direction or that consensus is always the best thing. If we can instead set
up things so that people largely can pursue their projects - regardless of
how wrong they might be - we will get both freedom, diversity and more
tested solutions. Sure, there will be people getting into serious trouble
by following erroneous or misguided ideas, but that will at least help
others to learn. This will of course not solve all problems, since some
views are truly incompatible and adherents to them *have to* stop people of
other views, but creating institutions and legal structures enabling
competing ideas to exist in parallel with as little friction as possible is
still going to be very beneficial. Getting everybody just to try out a
single expert-devised solution is often going to be suboptimal compared to
exploiting the parallel creative power of diversity, not to mention has all
the risks of coercion and politicking for getting one's own favorite idea
declared as the true one.

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

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