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Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Philip Rhoades okx at extro
Tue Feb 21 23:10:50 EST 1995


Patrick,

I tried mailing you but it bounced - can you mail me re:

Patrick O'Neil (patrick at corona) wrote:

: On 19 Feb 1995, Perry E. Metzger wrote:

: > >> Drexler's ideas suggest a future of boundless wealth, opportunity and
: > >> adventure, not for a few billion, but for trillions. Drexler's science
: > 
: > >I know of his fantasies.
: > 
: > Fantasies? I'm afraid that you don't seem to have a rational viewpoint
: > here. Drexler's work is, sorry to say for you, a reality. STMs have
: > already been used to nanoposition individual atoms. Genetic
: > engineering already produces perfect macromolecules to nearly to
: > specification.

: Err, I know well enough about what has been accomplished within 
: nanoengineering and what is desired.  As for genetic engineering, I DO 
: that already so I know that stuff first hand.  In any case, there is no 
: such thing as perfection in any of our constructions, be they nontech or 
: genetically engineered.  My problem is not, be that as it may, with 
: nanotech and what it COULD mean.  My problem is the idea of desiring to 
: coat the planet with TRILLIONS of people.  Not a chance and NOT 
: desireable.  In any case, I even recognize this figure as outrageous and 
: never a thing to happen.
: > >I would just as soon engineer a virus strain that is aerosol 
: > >transmissible, perhaps a hemmorhagic flu, in order to correct the 
: > >population bomb downward towards the 2 to 3 billion mark than live in 
: > >utter muck with trillions.

: Yes, an admittedly outrageous statement on my part and specifically for 
: the purpose of baiting.  As it goes, neither I nor anyone else would even 
: need to engineer such viruses since they already exist in nature and 
: humans get exposed to them as they continue to encroach into erstwhile 
: open lands.  Regardless...high population density as you propose, or even 
: a mere fraction of that density is nothing short of an incubator of 
: epidemic and plague, a fact of evolutionary biology, and technology 
: cannot prevent it.  You set up the conditions for a plague, and by damn, 
: you'll get one.  THAT is certain, and it wont require evil engineers to 
: act as creator.  AIDs is just a poor first taste and it is spread by 
: human behavior mixed with a good dose of technologically-provided rapid 
: travel and high population density.  I assure you, there is more to come, 
: especially if population density goes up significantly and swiftly and 
: neither nanotech toys nor molecular biology can prevent it--they can only 
: try to react to it.  

: > Or are you simply one of those
: > disgusting lefty amoralists that thinks that mass murder is okay so
: > long as its for the good of the cause -- Pol Pot being one of your
: > fellow travelers.

: Ah now, there you go, frothing at the mouth.  Of course it is OK to kill 
: civilians when the greater cause is served:  In WWII, for instance, we 
: (the Allies - who I would ASSUME you would agree were on the side of 
: right) bombed the crap out of factories, electrical facilities, dams, 
: etc, each leading to suffering for the poor civilians who lived in 
: occupied lands AND many of the same were killed as collateral 
: casualties.  Is it terrible?  Yes, but it was part of the cost of getting 
: the job done.  HAD to be done.
:   As our tech gets better, we are able to cut back on the collateral 
: damage but it IS unavoidable to some extent and THAT means dead or 
: suffering civilians.  Call it part of the cost of allowing (or selecting) 
: a government that brings such conflicts into the fore.  The saying IS 
: true:  A people only get the government they deserve.  This applies to 
: any totalitarian regime just as much as it does to any democracy.  People 
: have to LET leaders do what they do, OR they allow a condition to persist 
: that brings it about.  In the end, they are partially responsiblw for 
: the fate that befalls them.  Harsh but it is reality.  

: I happen to be a Desert Storm vet, by the way.  Nasty, unpleasant work 
: but infinitely necessary.
:  
: > I assure you that were I in the room with you right now, and if I
: > thought that you were seriously able to carry out your threat, I would
: > have no hesitation whatsoever about killing you in self defense.

: This is precious.  You are truly astute at the frothing business.  Let me 
: guess, a "Ditto Head" right?    

: > --
: > "Just another selfish, me first kind of guy."

: Obviously.  Sacrifice the OTHER guy...the Republican way (I just couldn't 
: help the dig against the greedy me firsters).

: We must do this again sometime soon.  It is terribly amusing and makes 
: for a humerous diversion.



--
Philip Rhoades
Pricom Pty Limited
E-mail:	okx at extro.ucc.su.OZ.AU  Phone: +61-2-963-2246  Fax: +61-2-569-5329
S-mail:	GPO Box 3411 Sydney NSW 2001 Australia
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Names of known ancestors (mostly from the UK):
ADAMSON BAILEY CHIGWIDDEN CHURCH DAVIES HENDERSON KEOUGH LAW MAY (MAI-Poznan)
McMAHON OLIVER PEGUS RANKIN SIMMONS SMITH SOLLOWAY TUCKEY TUNKS WHITTET




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