Re: The Problem with Futurism

Robin Hanson (
Tue, 29 Sep 1998 09:07:05 -0700

Mike Lorrey writes:
>> Yeah, but most "kooks" really are, ... and most of
>> them are not fondly remembered by history.
>I would amend that to say that most proponents of progress are not fondly
>revised by present day historians. Since most present day historians are of
>the luddite/crunchy/left persuasion, ...

I'd bet that if a widely respected Extropian like Hal Finney or Carl Feynman were to look at a random sampling of people labeled "kooks" by their contemporaries in the last 500 years, they'd conclude most of these "kooks" really were, in Hal's or Carl's favored sense of the word. Sure among those millions were people advocating stuff we like, but what fraction of "kooks" was that? And how many of the "kooks" advocating stuff we like had good arguments for their positions?

Robin Hanson RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884 140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614