I'm with you on this, Harvey. I've been "hanging around" this list on and off
(mostly off) for the past few years, and every time I get back on I find myself
disappointed by the amount of jingoistic rhetoric, insulting put-downs, and
non-extropian thinking. (This isn't unique to this listserve, alas.) Perhaps
I'm misreading the extropian principles, but I thought we were suppose to be
forward thinking. To me this means working toward a better future, not
wallowing in outmoded memes.
I first came across many of the ideas promoted by extropianism back in the late
'70s through reading the works of F.M. Esfandiary and others (this is
pre-nanotech, of course), and was initally excited when I discovered Extropy
magazine, the website, and this list. Wow, I thought, here are some people who
are putting these ideas into action, who are willing to publically express the
idea (so uncool in our present age of cynicism) that we can have a better
future. For the most part, this dovetailed nicely with my owning thinking.
I've always thought that we can have the kind of future we want if we
concentrate simultaneously on technological/scientific progress AND
self-improvement/social progress. To me this involves throwing off old baggage
and looking forward, and this includes not only not demonizing "the enemy," but
not even thinking of people with different views AS the enemy. After all, isn't
fighting kind of primitive? Negotiation through finding a common ground (such
as the fact that pretty much everyone except for outright nuts and fanatics
wants a better future for themselves and their friends/families) seems like a
more evolved approach than conflict and name-calling. But, hey, maybe I'm
Just my 2 cents.
Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> At 7:33 PM -0800 2/7/01, Olga Bourlin wrote:
> >Begging your pardon, but where does civility, compassion, intelligence and
> >reason fit into the extropian equation? One would think an extropian would
> >be intelligent enough not to have to indulge in stereotypes to convince
> >others you aren't anything like these poor "mediocre" humans, hmm?
> I've been wondering about that myself. This list seems to have
> degenerated into a bunch of juvenile stereotypes and insults about
> guns, gays, blacks, liberals, rednecks, and female body parts. It
> seems more like a junior high locker room or a 70's trailer trash
> sitcom rather than a transhumanist forum. Are we living for the
> future or living in the past? This kind of garbage is just plain
> embarrassing at best, and borderline racist or bigotry at worst. We
> need to grow up and start thinking like 21st centery adults, not 20th
> century adolescents.
> Harvey Newstrom <http://HarveyNewstrom.com>
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:37 MDT