Re: Present dangers to transhumanism
Sat, 28 Aug 1999 22:58:28 EDT

In a message dated 99-08-26 16:35:06 EDT, 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.

My $.02 on this topic: I think it is very important to do what Kathryn is talking about here, not in any sort of "PC" or "quota" way, by any means, but to be as open and encouraging to as many different types of people as we can be and remain true to our core ideals and values. Yes, many of those core ideas were originally conceived in a largely (but not entirely) white/American/male environment, and yes those originators were largely (but not entirely) scientific and engineering "types", but this isn't the environment that will ultimately make important judgments about the transhumanist agenda and extropian values. As one perhaps very important example, consider Robert Bradbury's recent observation that the developing world may welcome advanced genetic agricultural technology more than the "first world". Likewise, Natasha More has made the good point that artists, in our time as a group more oriented to the imagination and creative new approaches than the average person, may present more fertile ground for widespread acceptance of our ideas than many other influential segments of the population, presenting a high-value cultural "leverage point" for pressing ahead with our agenda of augmenting the human animal.

It isn't hard for me to imagine the crucial next two decades as potentially very turbulent times. We will need more widespread acceptance of our ideas and values to successfully navigate this period. Diplomatically reaching out to new people is simple common sense.

     Greg Burch     <>----<>
     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
                         "Civilization is protest against nature; 
                  progress requires us to take control of evolution."
                                      -- Thomas Huxley