Re: META: Neanderthal attitudes

Robert J. Bradbury (
Fri, 3 Sep 1999 09:55:18 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 3 Sep 1999, Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

> Individuals can always rise above the predispositions of their
> genetic heritage,

Absolutely false. I will never be a basketball player and am extremely unlikely to be a football player. Anyone over the age of 30, who did not start a sports "career" as a teenager, is unlikely to be involved in any professional sport due to the genetic heritage known as "aging". People to a large degree (we will say ~50%) their genes and there are many situations where even a superhuman effort will not allow them to "rise above" that. In thinking about this, I believe that in *most* situations, there exist individuals who would never be able to master the situation because of their genetic heritage. Genetic equality is a fantasy.

[If people don't flame that, I'll be surprised.]

I think it is a question of trying to reach the point, that during the conversation, the significance of the other person's sex should be at the same level of "background noise" as their height. When I speak with Greg, I don't get a little stool, so I can talk with him eye-level to eye-level. I also don't start thinking about whether or not he seems to be in a bad mood is because had a terrible flight to the conference because the airlines keep making the coach seat distances smaller, and he is suffering from a situation we would call altitude-advantaged, etc.

The problem is that height does not generally activate a "survival program" (except to basketball players trying to figure out how to play someone 8 inches taller than they are), while knowledge about the other person's gender may significantly affect how you relate to them and how they relate to you.

I would agree that the facelessness of the lists does make it easier to concentrate on the content rather than the speaker.

Perhaps I should join the transhuman mailing list as Roberta just to see what kind of difference it makes...