Re: virus: BNW

Eric Boyd (
Thu, 11 Mar 1999 13:22:12 -0500


I wrote:
I think that the BNW is scary precisely becuase the ideology which underlies it does seem attractive. Ultimatly, BNW is a trade off -- society trades progress (in the extropian sense) for the happiness of it's members.

Reed Konsler <> writes: <<
[laughter] There are only a few characters in BNW that are unhappy...the most intelligent or antisocial. Everyone else is just ducky for a game of electromagnetic golf! Don't you get it? You identify with the misanthropes in Utopia. Doesn't that strike you as odd? Are you that Miltonian?

I do get that BNW was about happiness. Reread my post, above.

I certainly do identify with the misanthropes in Utopia -- I've never fit in here, and I doubt I'd fit in there. As to odd, no. It's always been that way (for as long as I can remember).

So what if we give up a little of our false sense of individuality?


So what if we forfeit our uniqueness? So what if we merge and become BORG? So what if we blow ourselves to shreads?

But you already KNOW. WE live on the islands of isolation every day...Huxley was showing you a vision of what the BNW might be like. We understand the book differently. I understand your interpretation, do you understand mine?

Actually, I said that we live on the island in my other post[1]. I think our intrepretations of the book are very similar, you just misread my post.

>However, the pessimist in me tends towards the realization that
>*individuals who will choose to forfeit the BNW* in favour of the
>island will be *very* rare, to the point that the minimum necessary
>support humanities collective knowledge would not be available.

Give me a break. Memes aren't that important.

Depends what you're trying to accomplish. I'm shooting for the stars. We're not going to get there by sitting around all complacent like and staring at our navels.

>Perhaps this could be remedied by raising some children
>outside of the BNW (i.e. on the island), and thus into the
>island culture as a default, instead of into the BNW as a

You would intentionally torture people just to preserve knowledge of pain? I think nature will solve that problem without our interference. Every body spontaneously acquires cancers, tumors, warts, odd lumps, and abbrasions.

That would no more be "intentionally torturing" people than raising a child today is intentionally torturing it. Besides, *pain* was not the justification I was using for raising them outside BWN; I was justifying that with progress. (the island isn't nasty, in fact as you say, it's rather like today, it's just that the BNW is so cushy). My real objection to the BWN comes out of my understanding of TCS ideas -- which recommend that we let people (children) *choose* for themselves, but not *fend* for themselves, unless they want to. i.e. I dislike the fact that BNWer's are predestined into their positions.


[1] directly: "If you look at Extropian principles, they recommend an ideal enviroment for extropian progress that is very much like we have around us today; i.e. we are living in an "extropian utopia"[1], of sorts."