Tue, 11 Aug 1998 10:04:07 EDT

In a message dated 98-08-10 10:58:28 EDT, Kathryn Aegis wrote:

> For those you who are interested in a future gender balance within
> extropianism or within transhumanism, PLEASE LISTEN to this. You have
> GOT to STOP singling out females as (1) a goal for recruitment, [snip] We
> want to show up and interact intellectually like the men get to do. If
> we do not get to interact intellectually, if we are constant targets
> for special attention, [snip] then we are going to walk.

Some personal notes on "recruitment":

Although I am a strong opponent of any kind of legally-mandated "affirmative action" in any sphere of life, I am a strong supporter of what I call "voluntary outreach" in my business and personal lives. This means taking active steps to open my business and my life to new people, especially ones that are different from me. Why? Because it's good for me. It seems to me that any population of replicators (genetic or memetic) is healthier if it is diverse: It is more robust in the face of change and more likely to generate new and fruitful solutions to existing problems. It's also more interesting, which is a pleasure to me.

What does this mean in practice? Well, in any sort of social setting, from a formal business planning group to an impromptu conversational gathering (and including the Extropians e-mail list), the first thing I try to do is assess how similar or different the viewpoints of the participants are. If those viewpoints are too homogenous, I try to bring in new participants with different viewpoints. Of course, if the viewpoints are too heterogenous, then things can be unproductive or too chaotic to be interesting. But, given the natural social conservatism of we monkey-humans, it's more often the case that effort needs to be put into outreach, rather than exclusion.

That's my take on "diversity" a/k/a "recruitment". . .

	Greg Burch     <GBurch1@aol.com>----<burchg@liddellsapp.com>
	   Attorney  :::  Director, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide
	http://users.aol.com/gburch1   -or-   http://members.aol.com/gburch1
	           "Good ideas are not adopted automatically.  They must
	              be driven into practice with courageous impatience."