RE: Are you an extropian? Re: Voluntary simplicity

From: altamira (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 23:47:47 MDT

Brian, it's true that I'd never heard the word "extropian" until a few weeks
ago, although I was already familiar with nanotechnology, cryonics, etc.--at
least with the general concepts. You obviously have been around longer than
I have, and so I would have to assume that you know more about what it means
to be Extropian than I do. But from reading the principles I really can't
see that your narrow definition is called for. Actually, I've never claimed
to be Extropian. I found this list appealing because I liked the word
"extropian" and because I'm interested in many of the ideas discussed here.
But I don't think your posts really have to do with what's extropian and
what's not. I sense some sort of metaphysical hostility, as though you
resent the fact that someone could live slightly outside the reality you're
used to and have the effrontery to discuss it in public.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, you seem to believe that the term
"technology" should be restricted to that which is developed by highly
funded, tightly organized, "official" institutions. My reading of the
history of technology leads me to believe that truly revolutionary
technology more often than not comes from the (not-so-very-well-funded)
non-institutional fringes.

You appear to believe that I'm not capable of doing worthwhile research
because I'm not employed by a "government," an "accredited university," or a
"corporation." You seem to believe that the only way to further science is
to contribute money to institutions. Did it never occur to you that
spending one's time in doing research and using one's mind and one's time to
THINK might yield results as valuable as, or more valuable than the amount
of money that could be made in a like time? Money, after all, is a form of
stored work--and I'm using the term work here broadly, to include mental
exertion as well as physical labor.

I haven't mentioned another reason I choose not to have a large income, but
I'll mention it now, to give a more complete picture. I don't wish to pay
income taxes, thereby supporting the activities of the people operating
under the guise of the federal government. I consider most of their
activities to be "Entropian," to the extent that every dollar's worth of
work given them is the equivalent of a couple of dollars worth of work
subtracted from life-enhancing activities.

So, Brian, I've told you a bit about myself and what I'm doing. What is it
you're doing to further the cause? Have you stepped outside YOUR comfort
zone lately?


-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Brian Atkins
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2000 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: Are you an extropian? Re: Voluntary simplicity

I agree with what you are saying and with the long term goals. What I
don't agree with is the idea of spending your precious years here (which
as you point out, may be limited due to you losing the race between death
and medical tech) on simple pleasures. Based on today's technology you
have a very limited time- let's put it in terms of money- you have perhaps
$1,000,000 (say $10,000 per year of life). You can blow your money on
gardening for 50 years or you can blow it on developing your personal
empire to the point that you just might be able to nudge the medical
technology forward a bit quicker thereby helping to save not only your
life but a lot of other people who happen to be right on the dividing
point between living forever and not living forever. Which, as an
extropian, is the correct choice? Do you choose challenge or comfort?

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