[extropy-chat] The Masses (was Re: The Limits of "Property")
transhumanist at goldenfuture.net
Fri Sep 8 22:14:48 UTC 2006
It was indeed a quip on my part, but hopefully one with a larger point.
That is, I wasn't speaking for the content of this list (over which I
have no control, naturally), but to the general level of discourse
within Transhumanism (and Extropianism) in general.
There is, IMNSHO, a tendency for >H email lists to veer off into the
most obscure points of philosophy, making the most erudite discussions
of medieval monks about the nature of angels seem downright homey. The
average person (gasp!) is simply not going to find such discussions
accessible, and that does >H a disservice.
Mock all you want about the need to appeal to the masses, but it is
precisely those masses who want to shut down research into most of the
technologies that >H espouses. Transhumanist organizations are laughably
under-supported and under-funded. That's because we are pitifully
under-represented. And that is never, ever going to change unless we
start bringing in new people. Not just people from the rarified
intellectual elites, but ordinary folks. Because there are a LOT more of
them than the elites, and numbers, frankly, mean power of all sorts;
economic, political, social...
We need to ditch the sort of intellectual snobbery which has been one of
>H's hallmarks for years. Don't understand Bayesian logic? Begone!
Can't produce a pages-long essay on the problem of Identity in the
context of quantum mind-uploading? Maybe you'd be better off among the
peasants in the *sniff* World Future Society.
So, no; I'm not saying the Extropy list should be any different than it
is now. I'm saying that Transhumanism in general should be a lot more
accessible than it is now. Less erudite and more practical.
Chortle about gimicks all you like. If they help to open peoples' minds
about what we are, what we want, and help to convince them that what we
want isn't the work of the Devil, then I say let's do it. We've been a
fringe of a fringe of a fringe too long.
Mike Dougherty wrote:
> On 9/7/06, *Joseph Bloch* <transhumanist at goldenfuture.net
> <mailto:transhumanist at goldenfuture.net>> wrote:
> And people wonder why Transhumanism and Extropy don't appeal to the
> What people? Are we supposed to be concerned about the masses? I
> really am not trying to be snarky (it's a natural skill) Seriously
> though, is this list supposed to be a place for like-minded
> Transhumanists and Extropians to discuss ideas amongst themselves - or
> is this a place to encourage "the masses" to understand the philosophy
> using sanitized language and small words? I do believe it is
> important to know the audience before attempting to deliver a point.
> If you were just throwing out a quip and I missed the tone, then "i
> get it now" - if not, can you direct me to another resource for the
> etiquette of this list? (ex: I don't remember a specific suggestion
> for top or bottom posting. My last post was top- out of habit.
> Unless there is a preference I usually try to bottom-post to lists so
> i remember to trim the quotation)
> To make a further comment about appealing to "the masses" - perhaps
> people would like it more if we renamed it iTranshumanism and
> iExtropy. Or you know, if the iPod is not the thing, maybe capitalize
> on how much people love plasma Television and make it Plasmahumanism,
> or maybe drop the redundant letters and just call it Xtropy. You
> know, people generally love gimmicky stuff like that :)
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