Re: ExI Information?
Sat, 18 Jul 1998 14:46:41 EDT

In a message dated 98-07-16 18:19:59 EDT, Harvey Newstrom wrote:

> Come to think about it, as a member I still know almost nothing about

> ExI. Are there meetings, elections, bylaws, projects, finance reports,
> nonprofit filings, board of directors, committees, etc.? Are these on
> the web page or in the newsletter and I just missed them? How does a
> member get more information about the workings of our organization and
> become more involved?

Extropy Institute is a nonprofit corporation in good standing with directors (including me) and officers. The board of directors does indeed meet (although usually by telephone), and all proper records (including financial records) and filings are kept to maintain the Institute's nonprofit status.

The Institute has suffered over the years from the problems that plague any organization run almost entirely on volunteer labor. For much of its history (including right now), no one has drawn a salary or received any other sort of payment from ExI. When officers have been paid, it has not really been a fair compensation for their efforts. By and large, the organization runs on the efforts of its officers, in recent years almost all of which has meant Max More's uncompensated efforts, along with a lot of valuable work and support from Natasha Vita More.

In the last year the officers and directors of ExI have been trying hard to develop a viable model for the organization utilizing the economies provided by the Web and other resources wherever they can be found. For instance, Extropy Magazine is now an online publication. Sasha Chislenko is now the chief editor and he has been actively developing new material for Extropy Online. The newsletter will also be moving online. We're also working on an arrangement for handling office operations and expenses that should make the organization much more vital -- more news about which shortly. These moves will decrease ExI's costs.

As the list regulars know, we've been trying for the last year to develop a new, richer environment for online discussions; something more articulated than the simple, open list. So far, this hasn't happened, but the project continues in "any day now" status -- again suffering from the intermittent nature of volunteer labor.

There won't be an EXTRO conference this year, simply because Max hasn't had the time to devote to such a big project. (And believe me, organizing the EXTRO conferences is a VERY BIG job.) We are very hopeful that EXTRO 4 will happen in 1999 and that it will be the pre-eminent world gathering of transhumanists that the conferences always have been, but it is a much greater likelihood if we can find significant corporate or individual financial sponsorship.

As an open organization supported by its members, ExI is always looking for input of good ideas from its membership. As someone who has worked in the organization now for over a year, however, I can say that good ideas alone will not enrich the organization -- we need real committment from people to do real work on a regular schedule to make projects viable.