Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Fwd: [issues] Ockham's Razor
With respect, I think it is no longer possible to divorce discussion of
augmentation from discussion of the social relations into which it is bound. The
biggest complex, urgent problem on offer is to work out how to take our
collective foot off the accelerator pedal of obsession with capital
accumulation. To recognise that is to see that every piece of augmentation
developed has an economic and socio-political impact. Even GPL'ed (and similarly
licensed) software doesn't escape that situation - i.e. it's dubious as to
whether GPLing software slows the train at all, rather than giving businesses
extra profit without having to pay properly for the labour. I believe Messrs.
Stallman and co. meant well, but the ubiquity of the existing social relations
does appear to undermine the laudable intent.
I believe it is therefore imperative to ask at every turn how a piece of
(purportedly) augmenting technology contributes to the social framework. It is
true that we can't really predict the future with enormous precision, but then
it is possible to treat a generalisation like the existing social frameworks at
that broad abstract level and to make a reasonable estimate of the optimum
outcome. And that has got to be better than blundering forth in ignorance. (02)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Graham Stalker-Wilde" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 2:31 AM
Subject: RE: [ba-unrev-talk] Fwd: [issues] Ockham's Razor (04)
> I actually rather like personalities. Some of my best friends have one, and
> I'm not keen to abstract them away for the sake of a quiet life. My point
> was less about focusing on issues over personalities than about choosing
> which issues to focus on here.
> There are plenty of places to argue about
> unilateralism/imperialism/energy/the UN/GM food/Enron/how to get pizza
> grease out of a new t-shirt/West Bank Settlements/the Filioque/etc. Over a
> good meal I'd like to hear what you all think about these, but there are
> rather few places to discuss bootstrapping. Personally I'd prefer people
> brought all their foibles and idiosyncrasies to this discussion, realizing
> that we are *not* about to bring world peace but that we might get somewhere
> on augmentation.
> If we figure out a little bit more about how to talk we'll have done plenty.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com
> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Eric Armstrong
> Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 8:56 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Fwd: [issues] Ockham's Razor
> Graham Stalker-Wilde wrote:
> > We're not going to agree on this. Too many diverse opinions, too many
> > political agendas. I could probably sit down with any one of you and have
> > fine meal, but the amount of bickering here is just kinda funny. Which
> > might be the unrev point...
> Actually, it points up the need for IBIS-style tools, so that issues
> can be the focus of the conversation, instead of personalities --
> especially when some are inclined to polarize the discourse.