RE: Ben's "Extropian Creed"

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Nov 13 2000 - 21:54:36 MST

> Technology will make it possible for
> anyone who
> wishes (in theory) to be as smart and capable as they wish to be (given
> rewiring and augmentation and time enough).

And money enough? There's the rub, eh?

> The notion that ownership equals or contributes to
> cleanliness is extremely arguable.

Hmmm.... The national parks are pretty clean.... And there are plenty of
privately owned
toxic sludge swamps within 10 miles of where I live in jersey city.... But
I guess technically
speaking the point is ~arguable~ ;>

> This simplistic and uncompassionate philosophy is in the author's head
> rather than in the minds of many people I know. The author seems
> to like to
> associate everything bad with that great dirty word
> "libertarianism". This
> is quite childish and transparently biased.

As I said already, I accept that everyone has their own individual views...
the Extropian texts on the Web present a certain particular [overtly
Libertarian] point of view,
as do the books and interviews I was citing and critiquing in that

> There are fairly deep questions involved in what is and is not proper (and
> actually leads to good results) concerning (relatively) poor. Far from
> being cavalier many of us seem to have strong motivations towards
> long hours
> and hard work toward a future where most of the idiocies and sufferings of
> today can actually be resolved. The author seems to be caught in a static
> model of the wealth and the universe.

Of course, "in the long run we'll all be dead."

I don't doubt that in 500 years the subjective universe of our descendants
will be astoundingly
different -- and hopefully even more interesting!

What worries me are the kids around the world getting fucked over by the
CURRENT state of things.
The coolness of 2500 AD, or even 2050 AD, is not terribly relevant to them.

> Some
> Libertarians say that charity at gunpoint is immoral.
> samantha:
> By most definitions of morals it *is* immoral.

No, by most definitions of morals, as standardly interpreted, government and
is NOT immoral, sorry.

This is just a false statistical statement.

The standard moral codes come from the standard religions, none of which
particularly anti-statist.

I am not religious nor do I necessarily think standard moral codes are
correct, but,
these are the facts

> samantha:
> Yes. Although poverty is partially a relative thing. I don't think
> relative differences are necessarily bad in and of themselves.

This is true enough in the abstract, but it is also spoken like one who has
never had anything to do with poverty in real life...

In other words: To the extent that poverty ~is~ in the mind, it is still a
bad thing.
And we can't discount the relation between the mental and the material.

Few in the US are truly starving or in physical poverty, as one finds in
other nations.
Yet the "poverty mentality" drags down millions of new kids in our country
each year, into lives
of violence and destructive drug use ... while
we work toward providing their great-grandchildren with digital salvation ;>


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