Re: Skeptics Take on the Extropian Concept

Mike Linksvayer (
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 17:41:50 -0800

> Esfandiary should
> probably be credited with whole concept. What substance is
> the act of coining a term for a concept that someone else
> created?

No idea of significance is very original. FM-2030 may have
taken the ancient idea of transhumanism to a new level, and
I think various extropians and others have taken it much
further. Besides, sometimes repackaging an old idea is a
stroke of genius.

> Extropian art? I've just do not get it. What is the
> significance of art by people who actively strive for
> transhumanism. I am not saying it has no significance. But
> how significant is it in the grand scheme of things? Granted,
> it may have some peripheral value. But does such a concept
> warrant the allocation of resources it has been afforded?

I don't get extropic or transhumanist art either. Maybe because
I love art because I love experiencing art, not because I'm
looking for an ideology booster. Maybe because I haven't seen
any attempts at multimedia or high tech art that did anything
for me. Maybe because I can't believe a transhuman culture could
possibly agree on a representative art -- I'd expect incredible
diversity instead.

> Extropa-groups (or whatever the living communities are called).
> My wife and my children as a unit, we strive for self-improvement.
> We actively seek to prepare ourselves for the future. But we
> do not feel the need to use embody our "community" with a term
> to illustrate this. What point does calling a group "extropa-
> something" serve? More on this below.

I find extropic communities very interesting. Social and family
life are extremely important to most people. If this part of
life can be improved through conscious design and experimentation,
why not? That's not to say that a traditional family unit (define
however you want) can't be extropic. This has little to do with
extropian nexi, but I do think that the most extropic thing for
millions of people to do would be to get out of violent and
demeaning relationships and families.

> Sex and fashion. I visited the site (which I

Fashion: see art, mostly. I personally feel that wearing
Nike, Calvin Klein, etc. logos is equivalent to wearing a sign
that says "I am utterly stupid and boring".

Sex: I don't know what extropic sex could be other than safe and
satisfying, but sex is a driving force for most of humanity, and
I certainly think that undestanding this major part of your life
could be considered extropic.

> "please keep the level of cultishness and bullshit down"

"Amen". Actually one of the things I find attractive about
extropians is that most are very hard nosed realists. The signal
to bullshit/crackpot/fantasy ratio coming from extropians is
incredibly high.

Mike Linksvayer