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What Do You Think IEET’s Priorities Should Be?
Jul 20, 2013  

In our recent survey of the IEET audience you gave a clear sense of what your top priorities were: better communication and outreach, and the themes of mitigating catastrophic risks, and promoting the basic income guarantee, the longevity dividend and technoprogressivism.

We asked you to rank our various programs and activities on a five point scale from “should not be an IEET activity” to “should be IEET’s top priority.” Most of the issues fell between 2.9 and 3.5, in the “about right emphasis” range.  But there was a higher priority given to three activities: developing the Journal of Evolution and Technology, cultivating new technoprogressive public intellectuals, and producing more IEET-branded podcasts and videos. 

In terms of producing more of our content I feel bad that Changesurfer Radio is on hiatus, but I recently have been experimenting with recording Skype interviews for an IEET Youtube channel, which seems to be the way things are trending. I want to also put those interviews up as podcasts. Hopefully that will get started this summer.  We’re also looking into drawing JET more into the limelight by starting discussion threads in the IEET site about JET article.




In terms of programmatic foci, catastrophic risks, basic income guarantee, developing a technoprogressive policy agenda, and promoting anti-aging therapies were the ones that received the highest ranks. Lefties in the survey gave higher marks to basic income and technoprogressivism, and the transhumanists and folks over 40 gave higher marks to anti-aging therapies.  We have decided to make technological unemployment and basic income a top priority for 2014, and are collaborating with the French group Technoprog! on a conference in Paris in 2014 on the social justice implications of transhumanism. But now we’ll think more about ways to do more on catastrophic risks (which is an enormous set of issues) and on promoting the longevity dividend approach to arguing for anti-aging research.

One way we have hoped to develop the technoprogressive agenda is by having interns and volunteers write short pieces of the Technoprogressive Platform wiki, along the lines of what our stellar intern Ben Scarlato did a couple of years ago on the peaceful exploration of the solar system.  If you would like to work with us to write a piece in the platform wiki on some topic please let Kris or I know.

In terms of our overall focus on the near-term versus the speculative, four out of five of you think we strike the right balance.  To the extent that there was a disagreement about that the younger folks in audience, and the left-wing non-transhumanists, were most likely to say that we erred in the direction of utopian and science fiction issues, although even for those groups most thought we struck the right balance.





Thanks again for the more than 470 respondents, and I’ll keep crunching the numbers.




COMMENTS

Just like to make some suggestions and opinions, take them or leave them as you wish.

First off, I didn’t get chance to complete the survey, for some reason the mail message ended up in my spam folder, and I didn’t realize - I checked it after your results were posted.

I have not seen any survey links posted on the site and would have responded more readily from there - is there reason for this? I take it participating still requires registering anyhow?


I do like ChangeSurfer Radio, although a YouTube channel and podcasts are also good ideas.


Suggestions:

It is often difficult to back track to find articles related to specific topics, and the Archive is extensive, (one of the best things about IEET! )

For those that have been reading here for some time we have become familiar with topics associated with particular contributors, and this is how I generally search for articles of interest myself -

However new readers will not be familiar with this, and when articles scroll past the main page it can be difficult to browse and find specific topics.

I am aware that you do apply sub-category links, yet perhaps if articles could be more clearly categorized and with main tabs used under the banner, then folks can select specific topics of interest, and this is something you could then monitor to check which topics are trending more than others and over time?

For example using category tabs such as Climate/Environmental, Social Politics, Bioethics, Futurism, Technology/Enhancements and tabs specifically for focus on projects such as UBI, future of Jobs and welfare.

Have noticed also Kris is continually updating Twitter - good work, and don’t forget those #Hashtags else only followers can see those tweets!

Thanks!

More women ought to be involved. Will contact a few women about IEET—but it takes a professor or two to encourage a layman/laywoman. Plus, youths can be interested in IEET, though it is true under the age of 19 they are at this time rather uninterested in transhumanism. They feel indestructible. Even life extension is perceived by youths as not being cost effective.. if a given youth were to think about life extension at all.
Blacks need to be encouraged: the Trayvon Martin case demonstrates how America is confused—and petty—on race issues. We cannot blame it all on ‘the Media’. Perhaps it is the same in every nation. (Unfortunately, ‘every nation’ is an abstraction; we only know our own and expatriate countries; we know quite less of other nations, to say the least). BTW, Leo Igwe has gotten comparatively little attention; because frankly, we are not all that much interested in Africa. Or for that matter Detroit, which is 80 percent black.

This issue of increasing gender, racial etc diversity is an interesting one. It’s one we’ve discussed many times before, but somehow don’t seem to be able to pull it off, which has kind of led me to stop worrying about it.

Re Leo Igwe, I think it’s not just that we’re not that interested in Africa (which is partially, but not wholly true), it’s also, at least from my perspective, that he’s not that creative a thinker. Even within the anti-religion genre, the articles of Valerie Tarico are far more interesting and thought-provoking to me. She doesn’t just rant, she rants intelligently and creatively - and even gets OFF ranting mode and shares genuine insights.

Anyway, if we really want more diversity then we need to face the fact that there must be something about the whole set-up here that people who aren’t white and male tend to find off-putting.  Of course, not everyone needs to be turned on by IEET - the same can doubtless be said for most white males, and that’s fine - but there must be something about being white and male that makes it more palatable, at least for some of us.

Obviously, it’s partly about getting critical mass: once a certain threshold has been reached, the style will change to become better suited to a more diverse audience, and the change will become self-reinforcing. We just haven’t reached that critical mass yet.

Anyway, if this is really important enough to us it’s easy enough to achieve. We just need to make it a personal priority to convince people we know who are not white males to comment and contribute.

@Peter re “increasing gender, racial etc diversity is an interesting one”

Following Jaques de la Palisse, I think women are better at writing things that interest women, blacks are better at writing things that interest blacks, etc. So if we have more diverse writers, the IEET site will become more interesting for a more diverse audience.

re “that there must be something about the whole set-up here that people who aren’t white and male tend to find off-putting”

If so, we are screwed. I am certainly not going to change what I think because other demographics find it off-putting. Let a thousands flowers bloom, but let also my flower bloom.

Thanks for the observations and suggestions, keep them coming!! : )

Please send any suggested author’s contact information to IEETArticles AT gmail . com

Our Internship page can also be found here: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/notaro20130425

Giulio, I’m certainly not suggesting anyone change what they think because some people might find it off-putting. Myself, I prefer to base my beliefs on evidence, and while I certainly tailor what I say to the audience (I prefer not to give offence without reason, including when that involves saying something true but unhelpful), my default is always to express what I believe openly. I don’t intend to change that either.

But this doesn’t alter my perception that there is something about the set-up here that other demographics find off-putting, and I’m not convinced that only inviting more diverse writers is going to cut it. I think we also need to attract more diverse commenters. Commenting, after all, is something people do spontaneously (after having registered), and it is the mechanism by which we actually have discussions here, rather than just talking past each other and doing some surveys from time to time to get some useful, but not in itself terribly insightful, data about what the Silent Readership believes (or at least how they respond to questionnnaires).

Hence my suggestion to invite people who are not white males to comment, and not only contribute articles.

“Hence my suggestion to invite people who are not white males to comment, and not only contribute articles.”

Maybe you should also invite people who are not far left (other political views) to comment as well.  Of course, it would probably help to identify what is off-putting about IEET, to whom it is off-putting to, and why in order to make it make it less so. 

@Peter re “I think we also need to attract more diverse commenters.”

I definitely agree, but you know, you can take the horse to the water, but you cannot force it to drink.

re “my perception that there is something about the set-up here that other demographics find off-putting”

It would be useful to identify exactly _what_ other demographics may find off-putting. If the problem is in the core message, tough, we fall back into my previous comment. But if the problem is in the packaging, wording, or delivery, then I am all for exploring alternatives.

By the way, I think the “core message” is clearly spelled out all over the site, but perhaps there may be different interpretations. Perhaps before discussing packaging and marketing, we should try to agree on a very short formulation of the core message, suitable for an elevator pitch and maybe a bumpersticker.

@Christian. Good point. Not that we are all “far left” here, by any means, and especially not by European standards, but I agree that some of us take our “progressive” views quite far, while the word “conservative” tends to be something close to a term of abuse. Personally I think conservatives have an essential role to play, something akin to the boron rods in a nuclear reactor - acting as the voice of caution, advocating what is good about the status quo, ensuring that we don’t throw the babies out with the bathwater - although I also tend to share the view of most IEETers that the conservative movement in the US today is deeply sick. Perhaps it will help if we all just make more effort to empathise with those who have views that differ from our own.

@Giulio We can at least try to make the water more palatable. Again, good point about identifying what others find off-putting, but my hunch is that to some extent there is just too much self-satisfied complacency and comfort with our own, oh-so-cherished opinions. Hence my final comment in response to Christian. I agree we shouldn’t compromise on our core message, at least not “just” to please other demographics, but the more effort we make to empathise with those whose views differ from ours, the more we will be able to understand why they are not “getting” it, the more effective we will be in getting the message across, and who knows, we might even change our own opinions. Now that would be something.

Re agreeing on a short formulation of the core message, how about the second sentence of IEET’s mission statement? “We believe that technological progress can be a catalyst for positive human development so long as we ensure that technologies are safe and equitably distributed.” Personally I would prefer somewhat stronger wording, but as far as it goes it works for me.

@Peter re “who knows, we might even change our own opinions. Now that would be something”

You have persuaded me, I will become a racist, a homophobe, and a luddite !!! 😉

@Peter re “how about the second sentence of IEET’s mission statement? “We believe that technological progress can be a catalyst for positive human development so long as we ensure that technologies are safe and equitably distributed.””

I would change it as “We believe that emerging advanced technologies can be a catalyst for positive human development, and we believe that such technologies should be safe and equitably distributed.”

My problem with the current version is “as long as.” In their early development stages, new technologies are NOT safe and equitably distributed. That comes later.

How about “simply” phrasing it so “anyone” can understand what this website and its goals are about, even so-labelled Luddite’s and racists?

“IEET Debating the “ethics” of emerging technologies - promoting equality and social justice for all”

Still seems that “here” anyone with the slightest concerns regarding eugenics, fears of technology and speed of change or alike is “trolled”, silenced or heavily moderated into non-participating?

Plus ça change..

Alas IEET dooms itself to remain a small and fringe network.

Tired of arguing “same old, same old” - And with new innovation emerging each day, it could be soooo much more influential?

I like Giulio’s reformulation.
CygnusX1, do you have a specific formulation in mind? The one proposed (as modified by Giulio) seems pretty clear to me.

Re trolling of people expressing “slightest concerns”, I think you’re exaggerating somewhat, but it’s related to my point about empathy. Perhaps it would help if, whenever we see something in an article or comment that we disagree with or that we find annoying, we take a few moments to consider why the person wrote it before posting a response?

I like Cygnus’ suggestion at the top that we add more category links. My original intent with the categories was to be explicit and disciplined that all our content fit into the programmatic boxes that we had outlined - longevity, rights, culture, catastrophe. But we have strayed pretty far form those categories, and should probably adopt a more flexible word cloud approach.

Re: “trolling” remember that we have adopted the Right Speech policy, and that Peter is one of our volunteer moderators. If you have concerns that you don’t think Kris, Marcelo or I will take seriously you can always take them to Peter.

As to the politics of the site, I’m quite happy with them. The existing diversity of views is pretty similar to the parliament of views insde my own head, ranging from libertarian and anarchist to Euro-statist and Democrat to international revolutionary.  We have an ideological center of gravity on Left however, as it should be - we are a thinktank with a point of view. Do people complain that there aren’t enough Left voices at the American Enterprise Institute, or that non-libertarians are made fun of on the CATO website? If people don’t like the IEET’s politics they can go lots of other places and natter to their hearts content.

The question I care about is whether our ideological positioning is broad enough around that Left POV to build a strong technoprogressive political current, and yet narrow enough to express some intellectual and policy coherency. The problem with WTA/Humanity+ is that there was/is constant internal warfare between those who think politics are irrelevant, those who want Randian libertopia, and those who believed in the legitimacy of some egalitarian and regulatory governance. If the anarchists attracted to the technoprogressive project insisted that only extraparliamentary work was legitimate, or that biotech regulations should be done by mobs with pitchforks instead of agencies, then we would have a problem. But if the anarchism is like Peter’s, Kris’ and Giulio’s, aspirational but woven into practical political work, then we can talk about what policies we can advocate for.

By the way, just noticed that Cygnus did provide an alternative concise formulation of what we stand for.  Sorry for missing it. But I do prefer Giulio’s, though: it looks more like a position and less like just a description of what we are doing, and it seems perfectly consistent with J. Hughes’ thoughts (obviously, since it’s based on the IEET mission statement).

Wouldn’t want people with the ‘wrong’ views on politics/government to be excluded altogether, by any means, but I agree about the need for intellectual and policy coherency, both with regard to its internal consistency (our views can differ on the details, but not too widely on the fundamentals), and also its realism. The main gripe I have with the anti-gov libertarians is the sheer irrealism of their worldview.

@ Peter..

I have no interest in formulation, my point was regarding making it easy for new visitors to understand what IEET stands for, some still think it’s Eugenics v 2.0 “attack and don’t come back”?

“Re trolling of people expressing “slightest concerns”, I think you’re exaggerating somewhat”

Yes.. I am, yet religionists are still being prejudiced here, and with strong collaborations with MTA, I am still yet “astonished”!

@ James..

Thanks for acknowledging use of “both” comprehensive labels and where broader, more “simple” catergories can be used, (would make it easier to browse for all of us?)

“Re: “trolling” remember that we have adopted the Right Speech policy, and that Peter is one of our volunteer moderators. If you have concerns that you don’t think Kris, Marcelo or I will take seriously you can always take them to Peter.”

Yes, I have attempted to air my views before regarding “trolling”, (which seems to have landed me in hot spring water - tsk!). However, I stand for openess, integrity and free speech, and will challenge openly what I deem as injust or unfair attacks on persons or groups - always. These issues should be openly discussed?

My point however, was, regardless.. if any contributor, commentator participates here, and even in the negative, then this is opportunity to correct prejudices, promote awareness and the sites values, and not “stifle” or “silence”, which does not equate to any kind of progress, for any participating?

“As to the politics of the site, I’m quite happy with them. The existing diversity of views is pretty similar to the parliament of views insde my own head, ranging from libertarian and anarchist to Euro-statist and Democrat to international revolutionary.  We have an ideological center of gravity on Left however, as it should be - we are a thinktank with a point of view.”

Could not agree more!

“The question I care about is whether our ideological positioning is broad enough around that Left POV to build a strong technoprogressive political current, and yet narrow enough to express some intellectual and policy coherency. The problem with WTA/Humanity+ is… “

All parties can be catered for in “every” article, and there are indeed multiple dialogues participating often. Why are folks not participating in “Techno-progressive” discussions *scratches head* Still don’t know, but don’t think it is due to politically narrow mindedness?

Humanity+ and HPlus magazine? Don’t bother there any more, articles are rarely “interesting” or “provocative” - don’t wanna see IEET going the same way!

Get some people commentating here for God’s sake.. open the curtains, windows and doors, hang out a sign, (heavens knows I do my best.. but it takes much effort!)

#Integrity

“Personally I think conservatives have an essential role to play, something akin to the boron rods in a nuclear reactor - acting as the voice of caution, advocating what is good about the status quo, ensuring that we don’t throw the babies out with the bathwater - although I also tend to share the view of most IEETers that the conservative movement in the US today is deeply sick.”

Your’s above is one of the best critiques one can find, Pete. But Chris must be told how Wesley Strong thinks we don’t appreciate workers enough; Summerspeaker thinks we neglect minorities. We are in a sense caught between the Scylla of being deemed bourgeois and the Charybdis of Chris believing us to be far-leftist
—we can’t win for losing.

“Re Leo Igwe, I think it’s not just that we’re not that interested in Africa (which is partially, but not wholly true), it’s also, at least from my perspective, that he’s not that creative a thinker.”

Am only disinterested in Leo’s articles due to never having been to Africa.
Before visiting Mexico, thought it was a nation of sombreros, serapes and siestas- the country was faraway, uninteresting; yet after visiting Mexico, saw it was much more than the stereotype presented. Today my image of Africa is a continent of poverty, wild animals, and Idi Amin—but visiting Africa would surely reveal it to be so much more.

“Yes, I have attempted to air my views before regarding “trolling”, (which seems to have landed me in hot spring water - tsk!). However, I stand for openess, integrity and free speech, and will challenge openly what I deem as injust or unfair attacks on persons or groups - always. These issues should be openly discussed?”

With regard to openness, integrity, and free speech, we seem to share the same values, Cygnus, and I understand (or at least I think I understand) that you are not calling for anyone to be ‘moderated’ or censored, but rather for people to exercise some self-discipline, especially when discussing religion. As far as moderating is concerned, from my perspective Kris’s essentially laissez-faire policy seems to be working just fine.

I suppose the real question for me, then, given that we obviously have different views, and sometimes quite strong feelings, on subjects like religion, is where to draw the line between expressing them freely and censoring ourselves in order to avoid ‘prejudice’. I certainly agree that this blog is a very predominantly secular forum, so I can understand that some ‘religionists’ might indeed feel ‘prejudiced’. But feeling prejudiced and being prejudiced are two different things.

For example, was I ‘prejudicing’ Henry Bowers recently when we got into Catholicism and its stance on contraception? I certainly have the impression that I made him uncomfortably aware, or at least almost-aware, of certain flaws in his thinking, perhaps undermining (perhaps partially, temporarily, even unconciously) hs faith in beliefs to which he had become emotionally attached. Does that count as ‘prejudice’? Should I have thought, “OK, I’m treading on sensitive territory here, better hold back.” I certainly wasn’t being particularly empathetic, I was just enjoying the intellectual challenge afforded by the debate.

Then again, sometimes empathy and integrity can be enemies. If I hold back from expressing what I truly believe in relation to an ongoing discussion for fear of hurting someone’s feelings or otherwise ‘prejudicing’ them, isn’t that basically a form of deception? Essentially I am affording that person the shallow comfort of not having their most cherished beliefs undermined, while deceiving both them and anyone else who might be reading about what I actually believe. I may be incorrect in my own beliefs, of course, but in a sense that’s neither here nor there. The point is that I am expressing my views authentically, and that pretty much goes for everyone else here that sometimes gets accused of religion-bashing. One can also be too empathetic, or empathise with the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong way.

Anyway, we seem to agree on the desirability of getting more people commenting here…

“With regard to openness, integrity, and free speech, we seem to share the same values, Cygnus, and I understand (or at least I think I understand) that you are not calling for anyone to be ‘moderated’ or censored, but rather for people to exercise some self-discipline, especially when discussing religion. As far as moderating is concerned, from my perspective Kris’s essentially laissez-faire policy seems to be working just fine.”

Yes, exactly, and agreed, Kris is doing a fine job, and the situation here is now much improved.

Regarding the rest of your comments, only you can reflect on your own sentiments regarding perceptions, but if there is a question to be found therein, I would say “no” this form of debate you describe is not “prejudice”, and “no” there is no correlation or compromise between “integrity” and “avoiding” open debate, (nor in avoiding hurting feelings), and “no” this has no connection with “personal prejudice”, (even if individuals are religiously or ideologically or ethnically prejudice, and perhaps subconsciously not even aware).

What I describe as “prejudice” is applied “groupthink” towards visitors and commentators in general, and in purposefully seeking to overcome their ideology, even where they are merely expressing opinion on technology, or their concerns regarding social ethics and fear of future decadence.

In short, the debate should concern what people say, and this should comprise the argument and challenge, (as you indicate), and “not” who they are, or how they prefer to label themselves?

 

Thanks CygnusX1, that’s clear. I guess there is always a temptation to address the person and not just the arguments, and yes, that probably sometimes leads some of us to direct our comments towards ‘overcoming’ ideologies we dislike even when they are of only marginal or perhaps no relevance to what has been said. I’ll keep a look out for examples of this happening in the future (and try to avoid doing it myself, of course).

“Anyway, we seem to agree on the desirability of getting more people commenting here…”

Aye, and it does no harm to ask women to write articles/blog here. As for Leo Igwe, am not sure he is delinquent as a creative thinker: will dredge up the experience re Mexico. At one time it appeared to be nothing but a third-world cesspool containing little of interest. Caesar Chavez was only to encourage Mexicans to pick lettuce and so forth out in the fields. In reading articles, letters to the editor written by Mexicans, the thought was ‘what does this have to do with anything? Why ought we care about what a bunch of lettuce-pickers (this was a long time ago) think?’
When reading Leo’s articles, the immediate thought is ‘why should we care about religious extremists persecuting people in Africa and Papua New Guinea?’
If someone is burnt to death by a religious fanatic in America or Europe, it is a big deal. But thousands of miles away in Africa, in Asia, even someone being burnt alive is almost an abstraction to us. An experiment: contact Leo to ask him to write here about something besides religious violence/persecution. Best if a professor would contact him because such would increase the possibility he might consider the suggestion. It can do no harm to try. (It’s like the guy who keeled over and died and someone yelled,
“give him an enema!”
But he’s dead, was the reply.
“Well, it can’t hurt.”)

What I’d like more is if you’d start a site yourself, Pete, and limited the site to technoprogressives and conservatives and libertarians who are sincere about smaller govt—they are rare.
I do not believe for a nanosecond Henry Bowers, Chris C., any of ‘em, are interested in smaller govt. Thus there is no longer any purpose, IMO, in attempting to communicate with them. It wasn’t always so.
During the entire decade of the ‘80s, space interest groups were on campuses, staffed by Republicans (partly due to partnership of ‘Defense’ with NASA) one could communicate with. Today does any reason exist to attempt to talk to Rightists? seems to be a fool’s errand, good for exercising the jaw muscles. Even though Henry Bowers is educated, I learn nothing whatsoever from him; ditto for Chris C. Have learned nothing from any of the religious and ‘conservatives’/libertarians who have blogged here over the years. Giulio’s discussion of the nanny state is the same old same old. In America you hear it all the time. Everyone complains about big government yet they do little if anything to reduce the size of the State, for an obvious reason: they want govt. to help their people; they don’t give a rat’s keister about others’ families.
—————————
At any rate, don’t have to read Henry Bower’s comments: I already know what he is going to say; in America you read that sort of thing every single day of the year.
Naturally, we want to be exposed to all viewpoints yet one one doesn’t have to remain the same one’s entire life. When I was young, it was fascinating to hear about religion, to hear about socialism, Marxism, Libertarianism, Hare Krishna. Now, getting old and impatient, listening to it is aggravating. Want to shove a Bible down a Christian’s throat; stick a hamburger into a Hare Krisha’s throat. Send a communist to a re-education camp. There’s guilt as well; virtually everyone underestimates the negative effect they have on the outside world. However, do we need Henry Bowers to tell us humanity is sinful and needs to be reigned in? (we know it, that’s why we have billions dollar court systems and prisons; trillion dollars in military spending). Do we need Wesley Strong to tell us we are excessively bourgeois? Summerspeaker to tell us we are not sufficiently concerned with minorities?

When I filled out the survey there were questions about my age, gender and political orientation (and possibly other demographics).  I’d like to see the breakdowns for all respondents and for specific questions where it might prove at least interesting (you did this for the “Do you feel the IEET is” question so more of this).

This seems relevant to some of the comments here.

- I also would like to see the readership and contributors be more diverse.

- Thanks for responding about how I manage comments, I do believe that people must have the freedom to express themselves, and when it gets over the top, like any situation calming people down seems to be the best policy for now.

- From my experience I think that actually focusing on increasing diversity and respect is always positive. In the real world, white men tend to have the first and last say - therefore even on a forum like this we need to keep that in mind and increase our awareness of such issues. More later…

“I do believe that people must have the freedom to express themselves, and when it gets over the top, like any situation calming people down seems to be the best policy for now.”

And IEET has improved exponentially. You, before you, Hank; before that Mike Treder, plus whomever else was head, have made steady progress. Also, instituting registration helped along with Buddhist Right Speech. We owe a thankyou to long-suffering Dr. Hughes who has taken flak from all ‘n sundry. My beef is when a blogger dumps his religion here. In Mid-America one can straight off see the cause: parents dump their religion in their childrens’ heads, so the children pass it on.
Nothing against Henry Bowers as a person- he is quite educated, gracious. Which makes it more aggravating when he assumes we don’t know what is going on; only people who do not are sheltered types. We can see what is going on- we just don’t know what to do about it, life becomes more diverse but also more complex-complicated.
Which is admittedly wherein religion comes in—the great simplifer.
It appears Chris C. is wise for his age, and his comments on SF are good; however when he writes something concerning social ‘science’ it’s enough to make me scream. What, does he live in a cave in California? The common complaint is youth are being spoilt.. no, that’s not it at all; problem is they are being less informed than in the past for many reasons. Probably the main factor is—again—how complex-complicated life becomes- unavoidable. (In 1776 we were a simple people so a Ben Franklin for example could provide guidance. Today even a Da Vinci + Newton rolled into Einstein and Lincoln couldn’t figure it out). Here we have a public you are attempting to explain high tech to, that doesn’t know how their microwave ovens operate; that thinks Jesus or flying saucers will save the planet. To quote Pete:

“One can also be too empathetic, or empathise with the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong way.”

We are not suck-ups, we can’t always go along to get along. I appreciate religious posts only because of having been raised in a church, am not going to agree with them save on practical matters. Metaphysics involves (if this needs to be written) far too much speculation. A bit of nostalgia as well.. the religious are re-living the innocence of childhood. I think of my childhood 50 yrs ago, but you don’t want to read about it, do you? Would like to say to Henry Bowers: ‘undoubtedly [without knowing you] you are a pious man, you come from a decent [let’s hope] background albeit without experiencing what you went through we cannot grok it’ [if we had, we might v. well share your piety]. Pastor Alex when he was at IEET must have used the word ‘responsibility’ at least a hundred times, yet what he considers responsibility might be considered grossly irresponsible. At any rate, if it isn’t something I have heard over a thousand times, be it religion or science, it is acceptable.

@Atomicgeography
The survey demographics are posted here:
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/poll20130716

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