[ExI] Fwd: Advocacy and libertarian optimism

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Wed May 13 17:25:20 UTC 2009

Sent privately by mistake,,,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>
Date: Wed, May 13, 2009 at 5:40 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] Advocacy and libertarian optimism
To: Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>

On Wed, May 13, 2009 at 4:07 PM, Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Stefano Vaj wrote:
>> A "public" which may well include ourselves when we are in
>> our
>> "citizens'" capacity,
> Cynical definitions: the "public" is always anyone but you; "society" is always other people; and the "community" is always those people you agree with, while everyone else is working outside of and usually against the community.  :/  More cynicism: when someone talks about the "public good," she's either talking about what she approves of and likes -- or she is daft enough to believe that some elite really knows what the public good is, how to pursue, and will actually pursue it.
> But I get what you mean.  There is, as Greg Johnson once put it, a difference between arguing like a lawyer and listening like a judge.  And while both are good arrows to have in one's quiver, the "listening like a judge" one seems the hardest to obtain or use.  At least, that's how I feel about it.

My point is slightly different, and has to do with the fact that in
order to listening (and deciding) like a judge, there must somebody
before you arguing like a lawyer. Or rather, *as* a lawyer.

Now, this role playing may even happening in what used to be called
the inner forum, as when one single individuals makes a list of pros
and cons, or of expected gains and risks, and debates a matter with

But an association established in order to promote the diffusion of
sports amongst the youth and their dedication to sport activities,
e.g., is not in the business of analysing how it might be much better
to spend one's energies in nobler activities or how sports might
actually even endanger your health. *Not* that any of its members
would really hope for everybody jogging to death and ignore everything
else in their short remaining life. Simply, this is not its mission,
as a lobbyist cannot be expected to do anything else than presenting
as fairly and persuasively as possibly the angle of its employer, or a
preacher that of his confession.

The same apply IMHO to organised transhumanism. I am all, say, for
avoiding stupid and excessive risks. But I find necessary that
somebody be bold enough to ask the questions: "Shouldn't we run
them?", "Do they really exist?", "What do we really risk?", "How
likely is it to happen?", "Couldn't the alternative be worse?", etc.

Stefano Vaj

Stefano Vaj

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