Re: Sacred Cows

Anders Sandberg (
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 19:04:58 +0100 (MET)

It seems to be hard to fry sacred cows here right now - they are
obviously close to extinction :-)

Of course, a more worrying possibility is that we take them for granted
and don't see them. One way to find out, is to think about the last time
you discussed extropianism with somebody and got angry at their
arguments - sacred cows tend to hide near such sore spots.

On Tue, 29 Oct 1996, Eric Watt Forste wrote:

> The most important sacred cow Anders mentioned is the idea that we
> know what we are doing. One of my favorite philosophers, William
> Bartley, made the observation (and he emphasised it) that we never
> know what we are saying and that we never know what we are doing.
> All our words and all our actions will have far more unintended
> consequences than intended ones. I don't know about the rest of
> the list, but I'm quite confident that we have no idea what we're
> doing. We ought to give it a good college try anyway.

I think this is where extropianism shows its true nature. Most other
social or intellectual movements would definitely claim they knew what
they were doing (ask any politician), and would probably not want to try
if they were convinced they didn't. We are living in a culture that is
becoming more and more risk-avoiding every day.

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