RE: US science education sucks --> multiculturalism is good

From: Reason (
Date: Sat Aug 25 2001 - 19:41:25 MDT

---> Russell Blackford

> Speaking for myself, I read the list in the hope of obtaining clues and
> making contacts in one of my personal projects, which consists of
> contesting
> neo-Luddite ideas, developing an intellectual defence of
> transhumanism, and
> arguing in public for the transhumanist cause. Most of what I read is just
> noise from that viewpoint. However, it's pleasant chatting about all kinds
> of things with a group of people who are broadly sympathetic to the above
> aims. I don't expect them all to agree with my political views and I don't
> get angry or impatient when I encounter disagreement. Indeed, there are
> people on this list with very different political views from mine whom I'd
> now like to think of as friends. Eg, take a bow, Lee and Reason.


I'd consider Russell's politics the politics I'd like to have in a world
where we all got along. I'm going to be imprecise and say they they just
feel so much more humanist and caring than my views.

> But I *am* getting impatient with the use of the word "liberal" (in the
> sense of social democrat/ic) as one of abuse. The way this is done, day in
> day out, suggests that some people here believe that liberal ideas in that
> sense are somehow contrary to extropianism or to transhumanism or to the
> list's traditions and are illegitimate on this list.
> *Is* that the feeling? Are any of you prepared to come right out and say
> that people with Olga's political views, or Miriam's, or Damien's, or even
> mine, are just not welcome here? Should we simply form our own
> transhumanist list and avoid a lot of grief?

Well I'll come out and say what I rarely get around to saying these days. An
old and battered soapbox of mine:

        1) All viewpoints, memes and political philosophies are essential to a
healthy and viable society. This includes viewpoints, memes and political
viewpoints that you are forced to defend yourself against.

        2) Monocultures -- a lack of variety in any measurable societal
dimension -- are vulnerable to physical extinction from any number of

        3) Monocultures will become increasingly more vulnerable as the power
available to small groups of people increases, e.g. as we transition into a
nanotech future.

        4) We cannot predict with accuracy which monocultures or will lead to

        5) Therefore, all viewpoints, memes and political philosophies are
essential to a healthy and viable society.

So I just grit my teeth in the face of homophobes, modern professional
politicians, authors of illogical religious tracts, etc, etc.

Given that extropians want to survive in an ever-expanding future, and that
any one person in that future can kill a monoculture, extropians should
embrace -- or at least put up with -- all philosophies. We are not in a
position to predict the future with any accuracy insofar as it impacts us;
we think that radical changes are coming down the pike. That implies that we
should be prepared.


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