Re: Ancestral Extropians?

Anders Sandberg (
18 Jun 1999 15:25:33 +0200 (James Ganong) writes:

> OK, we've gone over Nietzche as a possible memetic ancestor; who else
> might qualify? Who first inspired &/or
> infected you with the transhumanist/extropian meme?

I would say:

Stanislaw Lem
Arthur C Clarke
Olaf Stapledon
Robert Anton Wilson
Frank Tipler
Hans Moravec
Freeman Dyson

I discovered them over a period of time stretching from early childhood to my highschool years when I really began to understand how it all fitted together. After that I would claim the extropian net community as a major memetic ancestor.

Note that we can trace the memetic ancestors of these people back, to e.g. Haldane, Bernal, Leary, Ettinger, Minsky etc. and continue tracing the web of influence backwards. Might make a fun graph.

> The point of this (yes, there is one :) ) is to see if we can find the
> common thread & maybe use it as a template for new vectors to spread our
> memes; how did they get *us*? Can we duplicate the effect?

Note that on your list, Heinlein, Leary and Wilson are all rather prolific writers, and Spock was of course entirely media. On my list the first four are writers. I think it is clear that spreading much (high quality) writings or media is a good way of being a vector. Nothing new here, of course. We'll see what other people post.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y