virus: Re: educating the masses (was: Is there room for mysticism?)

Vicki Rosenzweig (
Wed, 10 Jan 1996 09:12:30 -0700

I don't know if "the masses" want to be educated: I am, in fact,
profoundly skeptical of the formulation of that question. Some people
want to be educated, and others don't, but may not mind having been
educated, after the fact. But I think the advantage to us of teaching
people how to think critically ought to be fairly clear: people with these
skills are more resistent to demagogues and more likely to have some
idea of the consequences of their acts. Such education is thus to the
advantage of anyone who wants something we can call human civilization
to survive on a crowded planet. To pick one easy example, we need
people to understand that, whatever the validity of "go forth and multiply"
for one small tribe on a relatively sparsely populated world, it's a recipe
for quick disaster if everyone follows that advice today.

Vicki Rosenzweig
From: virus-owner
To: virus
Subject: Re: virus: Is there room for mysticism?
Date: Tuesday, January 09, 1996 11:54AM

At 10:02 PM 04/01/96 MST, Joel Bradford Klammer wrote:

>Some other religions promise eternal life in paradise for all who
>seek it. The closest Virus can offer is an extropian scenario of
>longevity in this dirty world, available to those can afford the
>technology (which in its initial phases is likely to be few). As
>a memetic engineer, which do you think has greater mass appeal?

Is this a trick question? I think what Virus has to offer is more
appealing when you take into account the probability of delivering
on what is promised. The other religions currently have greater
mass appeal only because the masses aren't educated in critical
thinking, especially decision theory. Now the question is do the
masses want to be educated? If so, is their any advantage for us
to spend the resources to provide the education?
David McFadzean
Memetic Engineer
Merak Projects Ltd.