Re: QUOTE: Bey on extropians

Dan Clemmensen (
Tue, 11 Nov 1997 19:23:38 -0500

Steve Witham wrote:
> Dan Clemmensen:
> >I have an incredibly simplistic view of the future: we either embrace
> >technology, or we die.
> So far, that is incredibly simplistic, I must admit.
> The AA Prayer is my paradigm for any debate on tech:
> God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
> courage to change the things I can,
> and wisdom to know the difference.
> You've summarized the first line of the prayer, which is something,
> I'm not joking: these basics need to be said, and sorted out.
> Please don't take my teasing style as unappreciative of the time and
> thought you're putting into this. More than I am at the moment--I'm
> just regurgitating things I've thought before. Scoping out the
> situation--what we can and cannot affect about tech evolution--in a
> cold-blooded way is exactly to the point. It's the third line of the
> prayer.

I enjoyed your response, and I particularly liked the style. However,
my little tirade is hardly a reasoned argument. It was an instant
hip-shot response, typed as fast as I could type. I was hoping to
stimulate just the kind of message you wrote.

It appears that our biggest point of disagreement is really a matter
of time scales. I really don't think that ideas about ethics,
etc. percolate as fast as technology changes. I understand your point
that birthrate goes down when women can get even a small amount of
education on birth control and family size economics, even in very
poor countries, but the people that control the money for such
educational efforts have a different agenda. You first have to change
their aganda, and that takes time. My argument is not really that I
think technical advance is good, but rather that IMO the the most
likely consequences of technical advance are less bad than the
most likely consequences of a failure to advance.