Re: What Extropians can do

From: Russell Blackford (
Date: Fri Aug 03 2001 - 20:56:39 MDT

Eric (is that how I should address you?)

You said

>To do otherwise [ie than financing our own society] would mean having to
>row the boat of science against the strong current of oppositon

I'm not sure we could raise the money to finance our own society, however.
My wife and I have struggled enough just to get the point where we *may* be
able to finance ourselves. I doubt that many others are much better off.
We'd need a big corporate backer who thought what we were doing was of
sufficient value to it to fork out money for the idea. In any event, we have
no consensus on the political structure of such a society.

>and also go against the extropian value of respecting other's opinions, for
>if one succeeds in making policy changes to allow transhuman research, one
>will inevitably affect everyone else with this change.

This I disagree with. We are entitled to argue against bans on technologies
such as cloning, strong AI or whatever. Such argument violates no one's
rights (as libertarians say); it in no way impinged in an ethically
impermssible manner on other people's freedom to live their own lives (as
I'd prefer to say). Sure, a society in which these things are not banned
will develop differently from a society in which they are banned, but that
does not mean that any "extropian value" has been violated.

>Yes, I wish that someone would help with the Sociologistics Project I had
>started with extropian thinking in mind (even though I did not actually
>know the term "extropian" yet when I started it). I think it will come in
>handy eventually when we (and other groups) set up independent space
>colonies. This project also focuses on the often neglected Infostructure
>systems (e.g. political & economical systems) rather than solely on the
>tangible Infrastructure system (e.g. transportation, defence).
>However, no one of the few members on the Sociologistics list
>( had actively participated in
>fomulating useful principles and only one had actually posted to the list
>at all. I often wonder why such an important project has so little

Perhaps you could tell us a little more about it. I'm sure there are people
here (I'm not saying I'd be one of them) who could make some sort of
intelligent comment at the lay person's level or even at the professional
level. Obviously there are limits to how much time anyone would have to get
deeply involved but it sounds like stuff that many transhumanists would
think very relevant to their concerns. You'll appreciate that my own
comments were more about helping each other with activism/advocacy in favour
of freedom and science, but I'd be surprised if your project didn't attract
some interest here.


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