Re: SOCIETY: The Quiet Revolution

The Low Willow (
Thu, 26 Dec 1996 21:29:15 -0800 (PST)

On Dec 26, 9:14pm, Chris Hind wrote:

} "We" are a group. "We" may be individuals but we are still a group of
} people who are looking into the future and will help mold it's outcome. If

}rediscovered by others. It's just like that ancient steam-powered greek
}toy. We (society) could've had the industrial revolution back in Greece
}long ago but the meme's about it's existance weren't spread and thus the

When it comes down to common extropian tech like nano or biotech, this
list is likely to matter very little. A few people might matter, if
they're working hard in those fields, but the dominant force is general
academic, corporate, and military research. For precisely the same
reason we're so enthusiastic: they can tell these technologies would be
highly productive and seek to profit from them themselves. (Arrgh. Our
pronouns don't need gender; they need sentience.) It wasn't the idea of
Hero's steam toy that needed spreading; it was an idea of using machines
to save labor, and that such would be worthwhile. Our society has this
idea, and looks for such tools. Gerontology and related research is
also picking up, I think.

If there are fields that need attention, they would be AI, because it
hasn't been too promising; spontaneous order solutions, because most
people these days aren't used to thinking of such as potentially
superior to centrally directed solutions; and above all cryonics,
because most people don't see the point or feasibility or general

Unless you care to some extent about equality of results, in which case
it is the field of social justice that needs attention above all.

} will get to the future eventually, it's only a matter of time. I don't want
} to wait.

Really? I could use a gradual transition myself. If a complex
Singularity happens, it'd be nice to think I'd have some skill to adapt
or at least understand what was going on. I certainly still have much
to learn -- not to become fully competent, but to at least have a working
idea of as many fields as possible. You ready to meet the Powers?

} gets off his soapbox) But I still agree that the millenium would be a great
} time to spread the memes about a better future.

Brrr. You know, I've seen rather little millenial fervor, all things
considered. Stuff in the Weekly World News, the TV show Max More and
Greg Stock were in, but not much else. Perhaps I've been out of it.
But if I'm right: guys, I *like* it this way. _Don't_ stir things up.
If people start going gaga over the year 2000 we'd get lost in the
storm; 3 years of heavy duty extropian advertising couldn't compete with
thousands of years of superstition -- I won't drag formal religion into
this, it doesn't deserve it. So far it looks like we might tiptoe past
the millenium, compared to what went off in 1000 AD or even 1900.
Spiffy. Shhh.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

The residence of high dignitary of the Christian Church is called a
palace; that of the Founder of his religion was known as a field or
wayside. There is progress.
-- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_