How to be a nutjob

Recently, I had a run-in with a moon-hoaxer on a supposedly science-based longevity group on FaceBook. I put him on my ban-list immediately, didn’t even bother to argue with him. I also left the group, because that wasn’t the first incident of its kind. But what I could not put on a ban-list or leave behind was my own nagging suspicion that I may not be as different in some ways. And that’s kind of hurtful. I need to cut through the knot.

I had been wondering for a long time already about what distinguishes a futurist’s ideas from that of a science and logic-denier. What’s the distinguishing factor between someone who seriously believes that the moon landings were faked and me? Or someone who thinks that Bill Gates is planning on delivering nanochips via vaccines to control the populace — and me, who is convinced that we’ll have strong AI, molecular nanotech, will solve or control all diseases including age-related ones, save the planet before it’s too late, and colonize space… And who hopes to still be around a hundred years from now to see it all come to fruition?

Both views are somewhat extreme when viewed from the outside. I’d like to believe that the science-denier can be easily debunked, and that my arguments can at least be discussed within a rational science-based framework. Also, I like to think that I am capable of changing my views upon contradicting evidence, even if I strongly dislike the new evidence. Am I, though?

From the outside, it may appear as if I’m trying to justify myself to avoid cognitive dissonance. I’m not talking to many people about futurist and transhumanist topics for fear of being put just next to science-deniers and conspiracy-theorists. I’m scared to discover that I, in fact, am one; or at least, belong to one of their subspecies…

I know that at least half of my FaceBook friends aren’t futurists, even less transhumanists, and they may think that I’m a nutjob sometimes. Well, I probably am in some ways, but maybe not in those that you’re thinking of.

So if you see me claim something outrageous, please take me to the task. At worst, we’ll part agreeing to disagree. At best, we part both having learned something new.

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