[extropy-chat] Flame for Evolution?

Pete Bertine pkbertine at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 3 20:58:02 UTC 2006

Hi all,

I was going to take this off line directly to Keith Elis, probably should
have (right spike), but I was over confident enough to embarrass myself
again and decided to keep it public welcoming whomever wants to take a jab
at me to do so directly to pete at petebertine.com  I am not interesting enough
to continue this thread on the list.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org [mailto:extropy-chat-
> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Keith M. Elis
> Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 12:30 PM
> To: ExI chat list
> Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] Re Fight for Evolution?
> --- Pete Bertine <pkbertine at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > I have changed the environment of my mind so that I can successfully
> > control
> > the environment around me... I see around me multitudes who have
> > no idea
> > how the artificial and natural environment around them works.
Those are two indisputable sentences.  Remove the ... , bad use of grammar
in this context,  and we get a fact: I have successfully changed the
environment of my mind.  The next sentence is also a fact: Multitudes around
me have no idea, etc.  I'm not going to bother citing examples as to how I
what I know unless someone insists I make a blog about it.
Thus your statement...

> My immediate reaction is, contrary to your claim in the first statement
> above, you haven't done enough to change 'environment of [your] mind'.

[PKB] ...Is subjective and offers no proof and asks no questions about what
my mind was like and what it is like now.  It is, as you freely admit, a
knee jerk reaction.

> Upon further reflection, you would probably agree that you can't claim
> to know what one, single *individual* knows,

[PKB] I do not agree. I can *know* that an individual can have no idea how
many watts they are using in their house at any given time.  I ask and they
say, "I don't know."  I believe that we all need to know these things.  Once
it was vital to our survival that we had enough wood to make it through the
winter.  One had to take down a tree and split it and let it season and keep
it dry and then use it in a way that they didn't run out in the middle of
February.  Today, we live in an unbalanced and unsustainable society, yet we
act like our resources will never run out.  Until, someone has managed a
bank of batteries for a solar panel and run around the house shutting off
lights behind everyone to make sure there is enough power to make it through
the evening, not wanting to crank up the generator and waste fuel that costs
double because I had to truck it in by boat, then, that person cannot really
understand what it means to flick a switch and illuminate a room.  That
person cannot *know* the incredible infrastructure we have built up around
us or really understand how fragile it is.  Without that collective
knowledge by the *multitude* I think we are all in danger.

 never mind pass judgement
> on the knowledge of a multitude.
The Advertising Industry can assess the knowledge of a *multitude*, a
demographic, and get a rather surprisingly accurate understanding of their

 This tendency to see an outgroup
> 'multitude' as relatively homogenous in their inferiority is a blend of
> at least two cognitive biases, perhaps more.
Sorry, I missed the two cognitive biases you were referring to.  Can't
assume I *know* what you're talking about.  Nor do I claim that they are
inferior, just ignorant and in need of education, the way a 5 year old needs
to be told to close a refrigerator door because it wastes electricity.

 Add overconfidence and our
> tendency to think we know more about others than they do of us and you
> will continue to say embarassing things like this in public.
Which of the two sentences at the beginning of this post are you calling
embarrassing.  My changing the environment of my mind? Or the Fact that
there are multitudes who have no clue how the artificial and natural world

> >  I have
> > no
> > patience for them. *They* aren't trying.

> Luckily for you, the group with which you have no patience probably
> doesn't even exist, at least as you describe them. My guess is that
> after really thinking about why you are impatient with the multitude,
> you will find that you've been wasting a lot of energy on impatience
> for nothing.

There are a *multitude* or "quite a bunch of people out there" who are
taking no steps to make this world a better place. They live in homes that
are too big for them and eat up resources that they don't need. THIS GROUP
EXISTS EXACTLY AS I DESCRIBE THEM.  We don't have the technology to even out
the huge gap between 3rd world poverty and the comfortable people in the
world. Terrorism, I believe, is caused by this huge gap.  Until we have the
nanomachines to make food enough for everyone and synthesize enough
bio-diesel for all, steps must be taken to use current technology and our
own flawed pre-singularity brains to change current trends.  I am surrounded
by people who went to work after 9/11 like nothing happened... FACT, FACT,
FACT! My life changed forever, I built a log cabin in the woods and reasoned
out how I was going to change my life and influence others to do the same.
I am impatient because time may run out before nanotech and AI can save our
primitive selfish butts.  I am impatient because there are still atomic war
heads aimed at one *multitude* toward another *multitude* and we can still
blast ourselves into carbon.  I am impatient, and the energy generated by
the impatience goes directly into my work www.petebertine.com .  I am
arrogant enough, strong enough, brave enough to want to change the world.
And I am sane enough to know where I can start and how I can make a positive

What are you doing?


> Keith
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