RE:Present dangers to transhumanism

Chris Fedeli (
Fri, 27 Aug 1999 22:31:00 -0400

Kathryn Aegis wrote:

>3. It is nearly the year 2000. The world's
>populations, by any measure, are increasingly
>linked and racially mixing. Gender power is
>shifting to a more 50/50 balance. Look around
>at your groups, however, and ask yourself if we
>reflect that. Ask yourself what you are doing to
>reach out to and support the few women who
>show interest, or someone who is racially
>different. Just having them around means
>nothing if they are not fully engaged.

Waldemar Ingdahl responded:

>I do not agree with you, Kathryn. Let me explain.

>Is the above really interesting? We should be
>looking out for good prospects in general,
>without looking for a specific gender, [snip]
>race, [snip]... Otherwise we will lock ourselves
>up in a way of thinking that prioritizes these
>things. And they simply are going to have
>problems keeping up the stereotypical
>categories that political correct builds itself

I have to side with Kathryn here. If we want our organization to grow, proper use of the media will be important to our success. The media is nothing if not a slave to the zeitgeist, and they know they can always attract interest in a story by citing politically incorrect practices as evidence of bad intentions.

You can bet that if we ever become important enough to get sound bytes on the six o' clock news the press will never fail to include a reference to our shockingly dated demographics in their description of transhumanists. I can hear it already : "The spokesperson for the Extropy Institue,
a group that is comprised 99% of white males, made the following statement...."

I'm not saying I'm a huge fan of political correctness. I'm not crazy about oil slicks on the highway either, but I still make sure to steer my car clear of them. If nothing else, it would be a politically smart move for us to try and recruit a more diverse constituency.

>Isn't it better to honestly, and in a well packaged
>way, present the ideas to people and treat
>everyone that's interested like a person?

Yes, it would be better that way, if we lived in a thoroughly evolved, thoroughly transhuman world already. But we don't. Most of the world's population is still very hung up on racial and gender distinctions, and I think we can be a little sympathetic to that considering that most of the world's races and genders haven't always been treated so well. When people see a group of white males getting together to discuss "our" future, it's understandable if some of them get a little nervous.

>(hey, I am a mix of Swedish, Italian and
>Norwegian)... [snip] ...having served as a
>PC "house nigga'" in the Liberal Party I say
>that being specially treated is no fun at all,
>its a form of racism.

So wait, you're Swedish, Italian, Norwegian, and African? Just the diversity we need around here :)

Chris Fedeli