Re: Help! Leisure or Extro-Holocaust?

Sarah Marr (
Sun, 14 Sep 1997 12:15:28 +0100

At 05:53 14/09/97 -0400, Keith Elis wrote:
>Sarah Marr wrote:
>> At 15:01 13/09/97 -0400, Keith Elis (Hagbard Celine) wrote, replying to
>> Holly Pearson:
>> >The pace of change is not a problem to be solved. It is a fact of life
>> >that human beings should synergize with.
>> You cannot justify your statement about the nature of the pace of change
>> simply by saying it a fact of life.
>Huh? I wasn't justifying anything.

That's my point. The latter sentence appears to be readable as both a
corollary and explanation of the former sentence. But, whether or not that
is your intention, these statements lack justification, and that's not
something that sits well on this list: people tend to like 'I think...' to
be followed by 'because...'

>> Cancer is a fact of life. Death is a
>> fact of life. Bigotry is a fact of life. They are all problems and I
>> believe they all need to be solved. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with
>> you, just asking you for a cogent argument.
>If you don't disagree then you don't need any argument, cogent or not.

I didn't say that I agreed or disagreed: I'm trying to decide whether or
not I agree, and it would help me in doing that to know the reasoning
behind your statement.

>Anyway, sorry for being pedantic.

Don't be, it is oftn the essence of good argument :)

>The problems you cite are indeed problems. They are also facts of life.
>The pace of change is not a problem, but it is a fact of life.
>I must be missing your point because if you don't disagree then what are
>you doing?

See above. You have not convinced me that the pace of change is not a problem.

>> >I say speed them up so I can augment my inefficent physical form with
>> >something more capable.
>> It seems a little naive to assume that increases in the pace of change, or
>> even continued change should allow you to do anything at all about your
>> form. Will you be able to afford it? Will you have access to the
>> technology? Will you even hear of the developments?
>Ancillary questions, don't you think?
>Whether I can opt for augmentation or not is irrelevant to the question
>of whether augmentation is available, no? If the pace of change is
>slowed, then I might not have even the option, never mind how much it

No, not ancillary in the slightest. Indeed, since your standpoint is that
such developments are inevitable, your access to them should be your
_primary_ question.

>> >You are insignificant. So am I.
>> This is not a very Extropian attitude.
>I nearly became sarcastic. I wonder why you think so? Oh, wait, here's
>the reason:
>> We may not be owed anything by
>> anyone but that does not have the corollary of insignificance. And if we
>> truly desire change, insignificant is one thing we cannot _afford_ to be,
>> either as individuals or as a group.
>This doesn't tell me anything about whether we are insignificant or not.
>Whether I can afford to be insignificant in the face of the universe is
>not the question I was addressing. If I am significant, then express

I'm not trying to tell you whether or not you are significant now. What I
am saying is that, if we are insignificant, we cannot afford to remain so,
Your phrasing had rather fatalistic overtones, which conveyed a feeling
that we are insignificant and that's that.

>> The tools for my survival are on their way.
>> To people with money, and friends in high places, and influence, of whom
>> you and I have probably never heard. Unless we do something to involve
>> ourselves.
>The tools for *MY* survival are on their way. I didn't include anyone
>but me.

Are they? It would be in the spirit of the list if you told us what they
were, how they operate and how you propose to obtain them. Actually,
perhaps this is a sterling test for the disposition of Extropians. Is it
every person for him/herself, or will we share our knowledge even in the
face of potential competition?

>> >No one has any better chance than any other. All your
>> >money, all your resources may be rendered worthless at the Singularity.
>> Hmmm. 'And He shall judge them one and all at the great Singularity, when
>> all shall be equal.' Om.
>Well said.
>Notice my use of the construction "may be".
>Are you arguing with me, or just being clever?

Well, I would hope both. Perhaps I missed the subtlety of 'may be'; it just
seemed that your were undermining your own statements with a final, "In the
end it doesn't matter what we do, because the singularity is going to 'get
us all'."


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