Sunday, June 5, 2011

The fundamental nature of consciousness-raising

When it comes to memes of such immense gravity that they demand we spread them on a global scale, which do you, personally, think applies?

1. Progress, like the propagation of the memes themselves, is incremental; we must "spread the word" in any way that we can, with every "convert" being an indicator of progress.

2. Progress is spontaneous and holistic; we must find ways to access those methods which are most likely to bring about the change that we desire in a manner akin to searching for the lottery ticket that will be the winner.

I think it's more like 2., in which case, even if you wind up with a "following" of, say, ten million people, in a world of almost seven billion, it may ultimately turn out that you have accomplished nothing at all. When it comes to infrastructure, routines, rituals, and resource management, the nature of "societal transformation" is binary; either you're using the new model or you're not.

Islam, liberalism, and celebrity worship are tough opponents.


  1. I vote for option 1. Every little bit counts. Every single person who converts who was about to breed potentially prevents hundreds or thousands of new lives in the long run.

  2. That's an interesting point. In the case of convincing someone to abstain from breeding, you are permanently terminating one particular evolutionary line, thus saving an unknown number of lives that could potentially be in the hundreds of thousands, or more.

    I guess I just have trouble making a relative comparison between the number you've prevented, even if it's in the millions, and the far larger number that you haven't. The ratio must be way out of whack.

    But you're right. When it comes to the antinatalism argument in particular, every little bit does count.

  3. And think about it: we're only a handful of people, so even if we are only able to convert two people who were going to breed, we most probably "break even," and possibly end up ahead.

    Of course I agree with you that it would be better to save more potential people. I am no gradualist. But I still recognize that we're doing real good here, we're not just spinning our wheels. If one person reads our stuff and realizes something that gets them not to breed, I'd be genuinely happy.