X-Message-Number: 19338
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2002 10:06:54 EDT
Subject: Americans "Left Behind" intellectually 

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Mark Plus speculated on the significance of the ignorance and superstition of 
"average" people. Two things:

First, what people say they believe often means very little, or has very 
little relevance to any attempt to predict behavior. Alleged or reported 
belief is one thing; actual conscious belief is a second thing; "real" or 
unconscious belief is a third thing; habit, which can override belief, is a 
fourth thing; and new leadership is a fifth thing.

Second, opinion can turn on a dime. Or, put another way, sentiment building 
below the visible surface can suddenly erupt. Some aspects of psychology show 
vast inertia, while others are hair-triggered, and it isn't always easy to 
know which is which.

We cannot afford either to be pessimistic or to seek magic wands. If someone 
thinks he has found a short-cut, fine--let him try it. But if we just keep 
working, doing what we know we can do, our chances will steadily improve.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society


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