Re: POLL: Proto-Survey v.2

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 19:45:46 -0600

> Oh, and I'm still not going to participate in your Poll, because you
> left out Art again, even after Natasha reminded you.

Okay... Somebody tell me.
What is it, exactly, that Extropian Art does? Why should I list it
alongside cryonics, intelligence amplification, or the Singularity?

Maybe I'm prejudiced; the only piece of Art I ever really liked was
"Godel, Escher, Bach". I see "Art" as being like "greatness"; you don't
try to produce Art, you do the best you can and if it turns out to be
Art, great. As for all the pretty pictures, I'm not moved.

This is not the time for trying to produce Art-as-art; the real goals
are finally in sight and living, reproducing, and dying just doesn't cut
it anymore as a goal in life. So who needs Art? We know why we're
here, and what we're doing, and where we're going.

"I don't know that I ever wanted greatness, on its own. It seems
rather like wanting to be an engineer, rather than wanting to design
something - or wanting to be a writer, rather than wanting to write. It
should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an
ego trip." -- Merlin, "Prince of Chaos", by Roger Zelazny.

At best, Extropian Art seems like a subcategory of the "Popularization"
subcategory of "Recruiting". Or maybe there should be an "Extropian
Hobbies Of No Conceivable Use" column? The idea is to rank in order of

But maybe I'm prejudiced, or artistically numb, or a Neanderthal. And
above all, I'm not in charge, or at least I'm trying not to be in
charge. Would one of you people make up your own poll instead of
criticizing? Let's see some Spontaneous Order around here. Now.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.