NEXUS: Extropian communities

Max More (
Mon, 23 Feb 1998 20:49:21 -0800

Talk of "ideal" Extropian communities sounds weird to me. How is that
different from "the ideal Extropian job?" Surely what works best will vary
from individual to individual and group to group. For that reason I would
say there is *no* ideal Extropian community, nor will there ever be.
Another reason is that "ideal" is a suspiciously Platonic notion. It's like
companies advertising their products as the "ultimate" X. They don't really
mean "ultimate", but merely "the best you can find today".

So, rather than talking about ideal Extropian communities, I suggest we
talk simply about Extropian communities, or even "optimal Extropian
communities", since I take "optimal" to mean what is contextually the best,
rather than best in all situations for all people.

Traditionally (if I can use that term in an extropian context!) living
spaces inhabited by Extropians have been referred to by the term "nexus". I
first applied that term to the house on Burlington Avenue in Los Angeles
where I lived with several Extropians -- Dave Krieger, and Adam Mackler.
When I moved to Riverside and lived with Derek Strong, Ralph Whalen, Tanya
Jones we had another nexus.

MODEL GROUP NEXUS: If you want to know about how this kind of Extropian
community works, you should know that the largest nexus that I know of is
what used to be called the Pheonexus (since it was in Pheonix, AZ), but
which moved to northern California and grew to five people (plus a sixth,
Dave Krieger regularly visits). I suppose today it might be called the
TransNexus, since it made a transition from AZ to CA. Or maybe: The ExNex.
(Derek, what do you think of these? Or have you already come up with a new
name for the moved Pheonexus?)

Another Nexus, one where much frivolity, dancing, fun, sex, and other
pleasures (including "the tent" -- say no more) is the Freeland Nexus where
Extropy Institute has held a couple of fantastic parties.

To return to the faulty idea of an "ideal" community, I should point out
that a bunch of individuals living together, while great for some, will not
work for others. For some couples, and for families, other models will
often work better. There are several Extropian family Nexi/Nexuses, such as
that of the Heward Family (which, when everyone is there, includes four ExI
members, with the two youngers potential Extropians....)

Finally, to me the term "Extropia" refers not to an ideal society, but to
an evolving, open-ended process or framework for experimentation.
Extropians are not utopians in the sense of trying to bring about some
static, unchanging, "perfect" or "ideal" society or community.


Max More, Ph.D.
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