Re: MEME: Bio-enhanced being vs. Masters( was: History, Nazis, and
Tue, 14 Dec 1999 12:59:29 EST

In a message dated 12/11/1999 1:27:02 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

As far as I can tell, the main nexus is by way of the notion of "eugenics" and the image of the "Aryan Master Race". I discuss this a little in the dialogue I participated in that's published in the most recent edition of "the Assembler" (and which we're trying to get up onto the Extropy Online site). The connection is, of course, completely bogus, but it happens often enough that it has to be addressed and understood. >>

The connections yes, by implication, but if one looks carefully at the philosophies it breaks down. I like this post because it is honest. It is naive to think that people will NOT draw comparisons between bio
"improvement" and Hitler's idea, which lead to genocide. This is one of the
problems I have with the rigid, "right" wing bent that is displayed on this list from time to time. It feeds that phobia (if we are looking at our effects on cultures outside our own). Republicans & Libertarians, swing right away from egalitarianism and social regulations, public programs, taxation, welfare and public housing, and this is seen as conservatism, and even political fascism. It of course doesn't prove to be that in the final analysis, since there is no "mandatory" anything inherent in the structure - but it provides little comfort to those who belive strongly in citizen support system for our society's elderly, poor and infirm.

It is not facism, but for people have seen things go this way before, and one would think, especially in Europe, this kind of thinking is considered
"dangerous" when combined with talk of a super-being, or eugenics. it allows
loopholes of a sort for business to take advantage of the infirm.

Economic probability of some people ending up "un-enhanced" disturbs a large percentage of the population, who primarily see the "good of mankind" as above their own need. In other places than this list, altruistic instinct runs higher....

I like the movie Gattica, because it shows an implication of slavery and elitism among those "improved" which is more realistic. And not entirely complementary to mankind. It happens of course, by natural selection, and it is not a gov't inflicted condition, like racism, until it has become institutionalized. The nature of humans is to form status groups, good old boy networks, and to shun the lame, infirm and sickly. When we, in our current state, un enhanced by Nanotech and subject to the horrors of disease, death and pain, are looked upon as "crippled" by the new generations of bio-enhanced beings, will we be seen as pathetic, useless creatures? Who here wants to miss the bio-boat? E-mortality? I for one am not a "mega - rich" though i know some of you are, and you can say "f"-you to me and do your own thing. I would not begrudge you your implants, but many of the
"masses" would certainly do everything in their power to stop you. It'd be a
very easy campaign to mount, I would imagine.

Of course any B-movie or sci-fi book points out that the mega-rich will have such enhancements, while a poor family will not, and then we have the cry and hue for regulations that allow pricing to include everyone. This is partly good - since a scrable would be on to make it more affordable, and partly bad, because if it is something that the government has control over, no matter WHICH party, we will see it feeding an agenda. And we all know how efficient grant proposals are.

The conundrum begins.