[ExI] "death gives meaning to life"

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Fri Jun 13 14:09:21 UTC 2008

On Friday 13 June 2008, Stefano Vaj wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 2:04 PM, Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com> 
> > On Friday 13 June 2008, Stefano Vaj wrote:
> >> I respect Anne's attitude, but am personally persuaded that
> >> inevitably there *are* camps, and by not "joining" one of them you
> >> restrict yourself to that of historically passive spectators more
> >> than protecting some kind of spiritual independence.
> >
> > I disagree. For example, I haven't joined the WTA.
> Why, I did, even though this does not mean I am going to acritically
> approve whatever it has done or not done or might do in the future.
> :-)
> BTW, my stance should not be interpreted in a strict organisational,
> but rather in "side-taking", mobilisational sense. Organisations come
> and go, and many people used to be devoutly communists without
> necessarily carrying a party membership card in their pocket. :-)

I'm still wondering what 'joining' has to do with anything (like 
expressing the actual values through i.e., effective implementations). 
Just let me get the RSS feed, let me on the mailing list, let me see 
what's up and I'll act when I see an opportunity, what does 'joining' 
have to do with anything but me HTTPing their RSS file? This goes the 
same for the majority of groups. I think around here (extropy-chat) we 
agree that security is thermodynamically impossible (i.e., otherwise 
you wouldn't be present), so the emphasis on security is rather 
peculiar. For example, let's make up a fictional group that needs to 
have Group Security. We'll call them Namuhsnarts. Let's say they are 
developing some tech in their basement, and so set up a website with a 
password. Why do they need a password? Are people going to go 'steal' 
the information? Are people going to laugh and make fun of them? Who 
cares? What difference does it make? Just do it. You don't need to make 
secret groups on the internet -- there is a very, very large amount of 
server space ready for quick migration and if worse comes to worse, I 
suppose you can set up a rotating webserver system like freenet or 
coral cache. On another note, I saw a good formulation of this 
sentiment yesterday from a group on wikispaces.com called 'biogang', 
where the originator of the group figured a few months ago 
that 'startups are obselete; the new way to do things is in short (but 
periodic) bursts of pioneering, collaborative effort'. For example, you 
do something, and then somebody else comes along later and picks up the 
pieces and does something new with the information or whatever. So, 
relating this back to the sentiments on 'death not giving meaning to 
life' and such, the idea of Having to join a group in order to say you 
don't want to die, and maybe this is somehow related to Eliezer's 
sentiments on refusing to relate specifically to any group that doesn't 
encompass all sentient processes, doesn't mean that your joining of the 
group is going to make it happen, and it doesn't mean anything but that 
they have a few bits and bytes stored away on their servers and 
databases indicating that they have another person to send email or 
dead trees to. 

- Bryan

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