Some people wont have read these for a while. I recommend taking a minute to
have a read and re-absorb.
1. Perpetual Progress - Seeking more intelligence, wisdom, and
effectiveness, an indefinite lifespan, and the removal of political,
cultural, biological, and psychological limits to self-actualization and
self-realization. Perpetually overcoming constraints on our progress and
possibilities. Expanding into the universe and advancing without end.
2. Self-Transformation - Affirming continual moral, intellectual, and
physical self-improvement, through critical and creative thinking, personal
responsibility, and experimentation. Seeking biological and neurological
augmentation along with emotional and psychological refinement.
3. Practical Optimism - Fueling action with positive expectations. Adopting
a rational, action-based optimism, in place of both blind faith and stagnant
4. Intelligent Technology - Applying science and technology creatively to
transcend "natural" limits imposed by our biological heritage, culture, and
environment. Seeing technology not as an end in itself but as an effective
means towards the improvement of life.
5. Open Society - Supporting social orders that foster freedom of speech,
freedom of action, and experimentation. Opposing authoritarian social
control and favoring the rule of law and decentralization of power.
Preferring bargaining over battling, and exchange over compulsion. Openness
to improvement rather than a static utopia.
6. Self-Direction - Seeking independent thinking, individual freedom,
personal responsibility, self-direction, self-esteem, and respect for
7. Rational Thinking - Favoring reason over blind faith and questioning over
dogma. Remaining open to challenges to our beliefs and practices in pursuit
of perpetual improvement. Welcoming criticism of our existing beliefs while
being open to new ideas.
I have a bone to pick about the first principle. I don't think that it adds
much that the other principles don't already say, and I think it is overly
simplistic about "progress".
Principle 1 breaks down as follows:
Seeking more intelligence, wisdom, and effectiveness,
- See principles 2,4
an indefinite lifespan,
- principle 4, although it is good to have it stated overtly like this
and the removal of political, cultural, biological, and psychological limits
to self-actualization and self-realization.
- Political Limits, Principle 5. Cultural & biological limits, Principle 4.
Psychological limits, maybe all the rest of the principles except Principle
Perpetually overcoming constraints on our progress and possibilities.
- Why not just "Perpetually overcoming constraints on our
self-actualisation and self-realization"? Removes that dogmatic
Expanding into the universe and advancing without end.
- "To boldly go where no one has gone before". Keep this, it's fantastic.
I'm not trying to heap crap on the principles, I'm trying to apply some
constructive criticism. In particular, I think they ought to be as
orthogonal as possible, meaning relatively clear demarkation between each
one, and not saying the same thing twice (like I just did). Principle 1,
besides the final sentence (best spoken by Patrick Stuart), adds little of
merit, and adds an unfortunate implication of intellectual closemindedness,
and ignorance of the complex, non-linear nature of the complex systems (us,
and the rest of the universe).
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