[ExI] Private and government R&D

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 30 13:02:51 UTC 2009

--- On Mon, 6/29/09, Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:42 PM, Dan<dan_ust at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> I'm saying that we don't need to do that at all under
>> a voluntary system: there are enough transhumanists and
>> other people interested in techno-progress to make it happen
>> under a voluntary.
> Really? In India or China, perhaps. But in western
> countries? And
> besides freedom and coercion, there is also *prohibition",
> which may
> not be of a strictly legal nature, but be nevertheless
> effective.

I'm not sure what you mean by "prohibition."  The first thing that comes to mind is, of course, things made illegal, such as alcohol during Probition in the 1920s in the US or many recreational drugs now in most of the world.  These prohibitions are state coercion -- since they are enforced by using the violence, real or implied, of the state.  People don't voluntarily, e.g., go to prison for using or selling drugs.  They also don't willingly give up their homes or bank accounts to prosecutors.

Of course, perhaps you meant something like social stigma.  That might be, but this is entirely a different matter.  And if social stigma is strong enough, don't you think, under statism, it'll eventually come to legal prohibition?  If not, then like many other things in the past, I've no doubt it can either be overcome OR transhumanists can simply leave areas where such stigma is prevalent.
> And as Gregory Stock says in "Redesigning humans", this may
> not be
> going to change *whether* something is going to happen, but
> for sure
> "when, what where, who, why", what happens in a galaxy far,
> far away
> in one age or another not being exactly my primary concern.

I don't know.  Some of my rhetoric in the past makes it seem as if such changes are inevitable.  I think they are not.  All we can do is make the best of what we have -- and maybe get lucky.




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