[extropy-chat] Serenity: "...make people better."

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 16 23:46:08 UTC 2005

--- Russell Wallace <russell.wallace at gmail.com> wrote:

> You're missing the point: I'm not the one you need
> to worry about offending!
> Yes, of course the world would be a better place if
> we all gave more weight
> to reason and less to our social dominance
> instincts. But calling people
> monkeys will not produce that result. If you call
> people monkeys, they won't
> conclude "I guess these guys have a point, we should
> change our behavior".
> They'll conclude "these guys are scum, maybe the
> people who say we ought to
> shut them down have a point".

I do see your point. But my intention is not to insult
or offend them. I myself am willing to admit that I am
a monkey. The only difference between me and the
offended is that I recognize it and try to overcome
it. Whereas the offended live in denial of it. What is
worse: a painful truth or a debilitating lie? Can an
alcoholic stop drinking without realizing he has a
drinking problem? Can we stop being monkeys without
realizing that we are monkeys? What else do we call
them that would be more politically correct? Sleepers?
The unawakened? Reactive minds? Infidels? The
rationally challenged? The differently aware? 

> This isn't rocket science, it's basic psychology,
> not the sort taught in a
> first year college psychology class, but the sort
> learned in kindergarten.
> Seriously, most 6 year olds understand that
> insulting people makes them
> dislike you and not want to do things your way; it
> should not be beyond the
> grasp of the super-geniuses we have on this list.

To call people on this list supergeniuses is probably
just exacerbating already swollen egos. Swollen egos
that can hamper true progress. After all if Wile E.
Coyote simply worked on improving his sprint times
instead of indulging his supergenius-sized ego with
overly complicated technical solutions, he probably
would have caught the road runner by now.  

> If
> you still don't believe
> me, try it on some normal people face to face and
> see what result you get.

Well if I walk up to a stranger, point at him, and
say, "YOU, sir, are a monkey!" Thereby insinuating
that that he is a monkey and that I am not, then yes I
fully expect for him to become offended and possibly
lash out at me.

On the other hand if I walk up to him and look him
earnestly in the eyes and say with all the pathos I
can muster, "WE, my brother, are monkeys but WE can
change!", then the expected reaction would be anything
from mild amusement to fear and bewilderment.  

The Avantguardian 
Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying." - Woody Allen

"Our hope of immortality does not come from any religions, but nearly all religions come from that hope" - Robert G. Ingersoll

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