[extropy-chat] Space colony behind the moon?

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Fri Oct 20 02:32:08 UTC 2006

On 10/19/06, Robert Bradbury <robert.bradbury at gmail.com> wrote:

> Oh yes it is.   Those "selfish genes" want to make more copies of
> themselves.

If you look at my last post, you'll note that I explicitly distinguished
between evolutionary and psychological causation. Selfish genes can create
genuinely altruistic brains; the flipside of the coin is genes that are only
competing for resources can create brains whose psychological motives for
cruelty have nothing to do with those resources, and which remain in place
long after the shortage thereof is over.

I don't remember that so feel free to point out the message.

I refer to your support for imprisoning spammers. The problem is that while
murder, torture, rape, slavery and genocide existed in our ancestral
environment, prison did not, therefore our sympathy instincts don't register
it. The end result is that civilized men who would never dream of personally
committing rape, for example, are quiet happy to have it carried out on
their behalf provided the victims are inside the psychological teflon of
prison. I've decided to try calling it by the names of the deeds it covers,
and see if that gets people's attention.

1. Spending 500 billion dollars (and eventually probably more) on a ground
> war in Iraq is a significant fraction of the amount I once calculated as
> necessary for having robust MNT *now*.

It's further away than that, but I agree completely that accelerating
development of nanotechnology should be a very high priority and would be a
far better use for money than almost all the things being done with it

To that end, let's not pollute the meme pool and do the luddites' work for
them with fairy tales about grey goo, magic utility fog, instantly
disassembling the solar system for atoms etc. Let's keep a grip on the
distinction between fantasy and real life.
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