virus: BNW

Reed Konsler (
Fri, 12 Mar 1999 09:44:38 -0500

>Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 13:22:12 -0500
>From: "Eric Boyd" <>
>Subject: Re: virus: BNW
>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).

I'm suggesting that it doesn't have to be that way. You can change your mind. I was exactly where you are now, and Richard just pushed me a little. What he asked me was, in essense, "What's with this intellectual crap, what are you trying to prove?"

It was a shocking question. It still rings in my mind. I can't say I've found an answer but it suddenly became apparent to me that it might be a good idea to find one. You can live your life on purpose, and if that purpose is in keeping with other people's interests you would be amazed at how receptive they become to your influence. Most people desperately want leaders to trust, but we have an ineffective mechanism for engendering goodwill in our most intelligent and least aggressive children. That sucks, and your feelings of alienation are the product.

But it doesn't have to be so. You can forgive the people who have harmed you in the past and renew your faith in humanity.

>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?

You know those aren't the same thing. Why engage in that kind of rhetorical doubletalk? What are you afraid of? I'm not asking you to forget your NAME I'm asking you to see yourself as one among many. If that seems like violence to you then I'll wait until you've had more time to beat the crap out of yourself. But don't wait too long, all the fun stuff is on the other side. I'm just suggesting you try it out for a while. Try being innocent on purpose.

>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.

Then why would you find it interesting to read about it if you know you're living it?

>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.

I'm a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard Univeristy. I work 70 to 80 hours a week aside from educating you. People in my line of work have been known to commit suicide when their projects don't fulfill them sufficiently; this is how focused we are on "shooting for the stars". I've published cutting edge scientific research and I've won awards for excellence in teaching. I chew pig iron and spit out nails. I don't have time to stare at my navel, because I'm too busy making reality.

And NONE of that is relevant to our discussion. But being a person of goodwill is most certianly not a complacent, navel-gazing exercise. Quite the opposite.

>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.

Read the book more carefully. People make mistakes. Even the finely controlled system breaks at some points. Most people are predestined but some don't fit in. Those that are, are content. Those that are not are not. Instead of "Deltas" imagine computers. Do you feel bad about "enslaving" computers to do the dirty work of delivering this mail? In BNW people are manufactured just like tools, on purpose and for purpose. If a tool is a little they send them off to the needle? No...they put them on idylic island sanitariums and give them everything they ask for. BNW is tolerant, indeed in BNW toleration is more important than truth.

Sounds awful, huh?


  Reed Konsler