NodeNets and ExI

Reilly Jones (
Thu, 4 Jun 1998 11:50:32 -0400

Sarah Marr wrote 6/4/98: <First, are these lists to retain the exclusivity
which might serve ExI best in the long run, by establishing its credentials
as a world-class organization, or are they to be open to all, hence
increasing publicity, but, more than likely, deterring the specifically
scientific/economic professional community from using the nodes as a
'trading' place?>

When lists such as these are open to individuals who are aiming at truth,
they do well. When they are open to individuals who are aiming at power,
they stink. Credentialism per se is a destructive force because ideas are
rejected for vanity and not logic. The signal-to-noise ratio in nature is
minute, only what grabs our attention at the moment produces signals, and
the s/n ratio on the lists is completely dependent on contributors' flights
of fancy. The s/n cannot be managed any more than an economy can be
planned. Only obvious relativists/compostmodernists need be booted from
contributing as being incapable of seriousness or coherency.

<Second, with multiple, highly-specific nodes, how is ExI to ensure that
'cross-pollenation' of ideas occurs effectively?>

They must all be in the same garden, the ExI agora, if you will. I can't
express how important it is to discuss esoteric ideas in the vernacular,
and resist the temptation to use specialist language. So often, I find
that very disparate disciplines are really discussing the same objective
phenomena, only you have to wade through specialist sludge interminably
before you find the commonalities.

<Put another way, is ExI a network for the discussion of popularized,
though sometimes innovative ideas, open to all, or is it to be a community
of multi-disciplinary thinkers, with a proven track-record of academic and
commercial success?>

'Academic success' is an oxymoron. :)

Only money counts, ask anyone, even the ivory-tower herd. ExI obviously
has a single, solitary mission, namely, to increase extropy. The lists
should keep this in mind, fostering exropic ideas, both through innovation
and propagation, and critiquing entropic ideas that lead either to nihilism
or dogmatism. Offense and defense, always with an eye on the goal, the
competitors and the time-clock. If you sit around filtering out everyone
without proven track-records and credentials, you have cut off the
creators, the visionaries, and the innovators. You slide into smugness.

<One final way of considering this question: what form of organization does
ExI need to be in order to create the future, rather than merely comment on

It needs a whole boat-load of money. Money, money, money and more money to
have direct or brute power. Lacking gobs of money, commenting
intelligently exerts quite substantial indirect or influential power.

Reilly Jones | Philosophy of Technology: | The rational, moral and political relations
| between 'How we create' and 'Why we create'