[ExI] Fermi Paradox and Volvo star systems

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 17:08:38 UTC 2020

I knew I was going to get a lecture on 'artificial'.  I am more nuanced
than you think.  A great deal of me is artificial:  eyeglasses, hearing
aids, replaced spinal disc, dental implants and so on.  I won't eat every
'natural' mushroom, either.

So I wouldn't need any of that if I were uploaded, I get it.  It's just not
going to apply to me, so I should just shut up and let y'all speculate and

bill w

On Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 11:32 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 31/03/2020 17:26, billw wrote:
> I dunno.  A lot of this seems so artificial, and of course that's all it
> is.  I am deeply romantic and would hate to see that changed in any way.  I
> hate what we are doing to this planet and don't want to live in a habitat
> circling Jupiter or somewhere.  Why mess with perfection?
> 'Artificial' is what we do. What we strive for. Nature is far from
> perfection, and we are constantly trying to make it better. It's what we
> have been doing since we began. If that were not true, we'd still be
> swinging from tree branches. What we are doing to the planet (that bad
> things we are doing to it, that is) is unintended fall-out from that
> process, and we will learn to do it better, do less damage, fix the damage
> we have done, and continue to improve on nature.
> We will do that or destroy ourselves in the process. There is no middle
> course, no 'sustainability'. That's just shorthand for failure. It's either
> up or down for us. Anything else is just balancing on a knife-edge and we
> know where that leads.
> There's nothing wrong with 'artificial'. Think about what the word means,
> where it comes from. It's the expression of our highest impulse. The word
> is unfairly denigrated, and I think this is just luddite propaganda.
> There's a tendency to idealise nature, to regard anything 'natural' as
> necessarily good, but a moment's thought should expose that for the
> dangerous lie it is.
> Rather than the conflict between 'natural' and 'artificial', we should
> have a conflict between doing things well and doing them badly. We can
> better ourselves and the world well, or we can do it badly. Mostly, we've
> been doing it pretty badly so far, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it
> at all, it means we need to get better at it. Lots better.
> And we are learning all the time.
> --
> Ben Zaiboc
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