>From: Brian Manning Delaney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000 18:18:19 -0700
>For a GOOD EFFIN' REASON!!!
Sorry Brian. Gotta say this. Then I'm unsubscribing.
Imagine Brian is a woman, Brianna.
Imagine Natasha is a man, Nathan.
Imagine Max is a woman, Maxine.
This really helps see what's happening with Max's machismo blow-up.
But some background is really needed too.
Go back a few months before the Extropy 4 conference. Brianna is hanging out
with her humanities friends in Oregon, who have been spending a lot of time
making fun of her for her interest in high tech thingies, and also for her
shift away from the political left.
Brianna says, Look, my politics are going to be individual, we can still be
Plus, these high tech people I've been emailing with are not as stupid as
you think. And they're willing to listen to new challenging ideas! I just
emailed Maxine More, also a philosopher by the way!!, about Erasmus and my
theses about how humanism relates to these so called transhumanisms and
posthumanisms. I've suggested some better ideas about how to understand
technology and humanism, using some terms from 19th century Romanticism
('ultrahumanism', 'uberhumanism' etc.).
(Fast Forward a few months.)
Brianna!, says one of Brianna's friends, Check out this web page. You're
right! Maxine *does* have an open mind. You apparently convinced her that
'transhumanism' and 'posthumanism' might be problematic terms. Her opening
speech is on just this issue! Well done! Maybe these people aren't as bad as
they sometimes look ('racist', 'misogynist', etc.).
Brianna says, Listen, why don't you join their list! We can get a discussion
going on some of these topics. Should be interesting! There are some *very*
interesting people on the list.
(Fast forward a week or so.)
Brianna's friends join the list. Brianna posts a treatise about 'humanism'
and 'transhumanism.' A discussion is started. It's very interesting indeed.
>>Yes -- more like "the" conference for this list, by the way. (For the
>>record, he may, of course, have come up with the idea years before
>>my email. Extropians are capable of independent thought, you'll
>For the record, I came us with "ultrahuman" several months ago, while
>thinking about my book and my talk for the conference. I was surprised
>and amused to see your use of the term immediately before I first
>used the term publically at the conference (though it had been
>on the conference program for a while before that). This isn't
>really surprising though. Several people have independently come
>up with "extropy" and "transhuman" (or "trans-human").
'For the record' WHAT?!!!!
Okay, says Brianna to her friends - who are chuckling and saying 'come back
to the left,' 'come back to the humanities, remember Paulina Borsok' - Wait,
wait. A simple mistake. I'll just email Maxine, and have faith that she has
simply forgotten the older emails. Not a big deal anyway. The term itself
has been around for a long long time.
Maxine says she recalls the emails, then says, I'm leaving town for a few
days, I'll make te correction when I get back.
Brianna tells her friends, Just wait, she's a decent person, trust me, she
wouldn't leave me looking like I had made an absurd claim to originality
(and even suggest subtly that *I* stole the term from her!!!). I have faith.
A long time goes by. Zip from Maxine.
Brianna finally emails Maxine again, occasioned by some odd emails that
Brianna has been receiving about Maxine.
Maxine says, Oops, sorry, I honestly just forgot. I'll do it right away.
Brianna's friends are skeptical. Brianna again says, Listen, she's running a
very busy institute, cut her some slack. This time, for sure.
A long time goes by. Zip from Maxine yet *again*.
Brianna's friends say, So this is Extropian Ethics, eh?
Fast forward to June 2000.
Brianna, perhaps because she was treated badly in the past by Maxine,
perhaps for other reasons, makes a too sharply-worded comment about Maxine's
institute involving anti-Semitism.
Maxine reacts strongly.
Brianna corrects the comment.
Now we're ready for a discussion.
Nope, Maxine is in pure defense mode, not try to understand mode.
Brianna is angry, and hurt, and reacts accordingly.
Brianna eventually opens her heart about how badly she's been feeling about
something from the past, in order to help Maxine see a possible source of
her original statement.
In opening her heart she makes a rhetorical 'gesture' designed to show just
how nutty someone who has slandered Maxine really is ('..... the influence
of the psychotic asshole (Nathan's ex-girlfriend? I can't think of any other
Nathan misunderstands completely, in several ways, and reacts strongly to
Brianna is hurt, especially that Nathan would read her paragraph so
sloppily, despite feeling confident enough to accuse her bad faith.
But that's okay, Brianna realizes there was definitely room for
misunderstanding, so she corrects her mistake *immediately*, and now expects
the discussion to continue in good will.
Eventually, after several instances of bad treatment, Nathan tells Brianna
that she isn't authentically working towards the Good.
Brianna loses control, fires off a few (mild, compared to what Nathan
Nathan then disappears.
*Maxine* then attacks Brianna!
Extropians join in!
Earth to Extropians: Anyone understand yet?
P.S. This way of looking at things was someone else's idea, for the record.
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