Re: Luddites attack genegineered crop

Anders Sandberg (
24 Oct 1997 11:52:43 +0200

"den Otter" <> writes:

> Kathryn Aegis <> wrote:
> >
> > I think that, in the light of the resurgence of this sort of direct
> > sabatoge, I would like to nominate _Rebels from the Future_ for
> > inclusion on the Extropian mailing list. It benefits every Extropian
> > to possess a complete understanding of the origins and present state
> > of the luddite/neoluddite movement.
> Actually, you can tell these luddites are scum even without knowing
> too much about their background and general history, methinks.
> The genlabs simply need better protection, like guards that hit first
> and ask questions later, or some vicious dogs.

That position is dangerous, and doesn't solve anything. It would
likely just mean a more polarized situation, more violent luddites and
even less public support for genetic engineering - if something is
surrounded by barbed wire and dangerous guards, it cannot be good,

Most of the truly dangerous luddites are not the activists; the
activitsts could just as well be attacking meat trucks, abortion
clinics or racist organisations, their luddism is mostly just a
convenient reason to be an activist. The real danger comes from the
"normal people", who can be much more dangerous for research and
development by the power of public opinion, voting and spending money,
and the people who can convince them that genetic engineering is
unnatural, evil and dangerous. No amount of guards, barbed wire and
dogs can protect againste Jeremy Rifkin and the other

To quote somebody who was interviewed on Swedish television
(unfortunately without the regional dialect which really made it
funny): "There should be an end to progress so people can keep their
jobs!". That view is dangerously common, and people in general fear
change despite the fact that it helps them in the long run. It is very
easy to use this fear to strike against proponents or technologies of
change such as genetic engineering, the Internet och
transhumanists. Think about it.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y