Re: Nextropians.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 15 Jun 1999 02:57:27 -0500

Heywood Floyd wrote:
> Dear list members,
> Call me an anonymous coward, a 'deepthroat', a Judas. If and when
> you're done calling me names, I hope you hear what I have to say.
> I am one of the trusted, one of the select, one of the chosen. Chosen
> you say? Yes, believe it or not there very much is an in-crowd within
> the transhumanist community. If you hang out long enough you may
> figure out who is part of the in-crowd and who is is not. For the
> remainder of the post, lets just call them the 'Nextropians'.

This is only another example of the sort of irresponsible rumor-mongering that is, alas, the price of an uncensored list. As we all know, there is absolutely no "inner circle", no "Nextropians", no "transhumanist elite". None. Oh, it's true that the people who around at list-launch in '96 tend to be, shall we say, a little more influential. But that's only natural, of course.

> This elite network of Nextropians have their own exclusive and very
> secret list. No, it is not the extropians-select or the Polymath lists.
> How do you join this secret society? You don't, you're invited. It
> helps if you are already signed up for cryonic suspension. To them,
> that financial commitment is a sign you take seriously your extropic
> goals.

What the clot are you talking about? We never selected anyone on the basis of... oh, never mind.

> Don't beleive me? Ask Dr. Ralph Merkle, if there is not a secret
> society of cryonicists. He may say 'no', but I can assure you
> otherwise.

Well, it's a good thing that there is no conspiracy. Because, if so, they certainly wouldn't take *kindly* to your naming one of their members like that. Not at all. Remember what happened to Cosma Shalizi when he named Drexler as one of the known members of the conspiracy? And such a promising lad, too. And if you think that we don't have agents at Yahoo, agents who *know* where these email addresses come from, you're sorely mistaken... Lyle Burkhead!

> So what is the point of my post? Ask yourself, why the secrecy in the
> first place? Doesn't the knowledge that their are some extremely smart
> people conducting their most extropic affairs in secret give you the
> warm fuzzies? What is their motivation? Are they tired of all the
> mundanes encroaching on their territory? Are they afraid of the
> mortals shutting them down? Are they afraid of the government
> opressing their strong drive for freedom?

Actually, we're engaging in research into technologies that would be controversial, to say the least, if publicly revealed. When even Damien Broderick calls a little neurohacking "horrific", it's obvious that the general populace just isn't ready. This is, after all, a publicly readable list.

> Although I have not revealed the exact identity of the group or their
> virtual wearabouts, I must make public their existence.

Yeah, and you aren't revealing our identity for exactly what reason? You don't even know who we are. You're just hoping we react by blowing our cover.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way