Re: Luddites attack genegineered crop [#3]

den Otter (
Fri, 24 Oct 1997 20:06:22 +0100

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> If Frankenstein had had his lab in a small cottage inside the village
> instead of a forbidding castle in the mountains, the villagers would
> have been less inclined to storm him with torches and pitchforks.
They would have if they ever found out. In fact, I'm sure they would be
*very* displeased if they knew that someone was creating a monster made of
stolen bodyparts in the middle of their cosy little neighborhood.

> What we really need is to make people understand the new technologies
> with an open mind. Just educating them about how they work has the
> surprising effect of just polarizing the opinion (the
> pro-genengineering camp becomes more pro, the anti-camp more
> anti). This is very hard, but we need to do it or else we are going to
> need your defenses even in our homes ("A transhuman! Kill the ugly
> mutant!!").
Ok, any tips?

> > I've thought about it a lot. I don't see anyone attacking the internet
> > or in the (near) future, unless it attacks us first (which is at least
> > theoretically possible).
> Take a look at the controversies about pornography on the internet,
> the spread of illegal information and terrorism. I don't know about
> dutch media, but here in sweden the coverage have tended towards the
> very negative.
The net doesn't really seem hyped around here, in one way or another.
Holland is almost pornography heaven. Hardcore is for sale at most
newsstands and bookstores, and there are plenty of specialized porn
stores in most larger cities. Besides kiddieporn (under 16 years) just
about anything goes. There are even some excellent sex with animals mags

To my knowledge most of the onholy attempts to fight porn on the net
have failed thus far, even in the puritan-infested good ol' USA. Even if
could pass some of those sanctimonious laws, they could never tame
the net. It would require co-operation of all (major) governments in the
world, and even would backfire on them anyway. Hackers would
now have all the excuse in the world to attack government computers, and a
even a single individual can do a lot of damage. Besides, how could the
governments ever finance and police such all-out operation? The "war on
drugs" already takes up most of their resources, and there is even a limit
to taxation.

> Several politicians have proposed some rather draconian
> measures to prevent the spread of this nastiness, but have failed
> largely due to party politics.
As far as I know the politicians in holland are trying to get as many
people *on* the net as possible (don't know exactly why, maybe just
to look modern or something). They might regret this one day...

> The first time internet was mentioned
> seriously in a swedish movie it was of course a movie about
> international child pornography.
I usually find swedish movies very depressing, so it doesn't really
surprise me that when the internet is mentioned they automatically show its
worst side :-)

> But I guess that
> when people start to move to untaxable digital money, the government
> will see that as a direct attack.
But what can they do about it, and how would this affect transhumanism?

> > Transhumanism might be attacked (regardless of what its proponents
> > might say or do) when it gets "too big for comfort". Right now
> > transhumanists are usually seen as a bunch of computer nerds with
> > silly SF fantasies, harmless Utopians. When there will be more the
> > government and the press and (thus) the public _might_ "rediscover"
> > them and some "incriminating evidence" will be fabricated to justify
> > persecution. Its been done time and again...
> Exactly. And frankly, it isn't that hard to find disturbing stuff in
> transhumanism that could easily be used against it. That is why we
> need to get our ideas into the mainstream as much as possible instead
> of trying to work in splendid isolation - we are vulnerable as a
> separate group.
Well, I'm working on a text for the local group for the proliferation of
transhumanistic ideas *right now* :-)

Hodi mihi, cras tibi