Acorns from the Oak Tree

 Posted by on 1 August 2005 at 9:40 am  Uncategorized
Aug 012005

When I update my blogroll in a few weeks, The Oak Tree will surely enjoy a high spot on it. His Teaching the Impossible series is just too damn funny to miss. In the meantime, let me recommend this post on three supposed allies of Objectivism: transhumanism, extropianian, or libertarianism. He doesn’t analyze them in depth, but the general outline of the argument is clear.

For the record, I am all in favor of political activism, if solidly grounded in philosophical fundamentals rather than lightly tethered to superficial agreements. Otherwise, short-term gains come at the price of long-term costs, in that you are promoting and strengthening your ultimate enemies. (In that case, the apparent gains aren’t actually gains at all.)

I am also very much in favor of pushing the limits of technology for the benefit of human life. Yet to rise above the level of idle chatter, such speculations must be based in fact, not functionalist-materialist fantasies about uploading minds and the like. Any speculations must also serve some genuine purpose, such as guiding the investigations of entrepreneurs into possible future creations.

(Since I find absolutely nothing of interest and nothing serious in this description of extropianism, I won’t bother with it.)

Finally, I could not agree more with this closing comment by Oakes:

I caution every student of Objectivism not to sacrifice quality for quantity; to sacrifice long-term philosophical change for short-term political advocacy. I’d rather have on my side a single man serious about ideas, than a thousand activists who might share my love of technology or disdain for the welfare state.

Hear, hear!

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