Re: Who cares

Matt Gingell (
Sun, 5 Sep 1999 09:42:26 -0400

From: CountZero <> To: extropians <>
Sent: Sunday, September 05, 1999 1:05 AM Subject: Who cares

>Ok, folks, I can't stand this much longer!!!
>I don't care whether I'm talking humans, >Humans, gals, guys, whatever,
>we're all on the 'bleeding edge' regardless.
>The 'powers that be' are going to stomp us flatter than dried elephant
>shit unless we take care.
>For once and for all:' The Ideas Expressed in this Group are
>_Subversive_ !!!!'
>Governments are _not_ going to respond rationally to the technologies
>that we expect, people (in general), are going to be caught _totallly_
>unaware and _we_ must be able to provide some sort of leadership when
>the Singularity hit (~10-20 yrs hence).
>And if you think I'm over optimistic about the time frame, look to your
>latest postings for guidance, things are progressing even better than I
>(an unabashed technophiles) might have predicted.
>I don't have a lot to contribute to the truly productive discourse here
>_but_ I feel that I have a good, overall, grasp of the issues, and that
>grasp tells me that that we're in for 'stormy weather'.
>Please forgive my '60s take on the current scene but also _please_ don't
>discount it completely.

I’m sympathetic to this point of view. There’s a passage along these lines in one of Richard Feynman’s books. He talks about wandering around in daze after having completed his work at Los Alamos. He describes seeing people working on a bridge and wondering why they bother – since the whole place is just going to get nuked anyway. Like ants who somehow miss the fact their hill’s been kicked over twenty times and keep rebuilding.

Here in New York, they’re talking about a 20-year project to build a new subway line up the East Side of Manhattan. It’s hard not to feel the same way. Of course, ‘knowing’ the Singularity is just around the corner isn’t going to help when I’m still humping my way to work on the bus in 2020.