Re: Extropian Principles 3.0: Please comment on new version draft

Joe Jenkins (
Fri, 4 Sep 1998 14:04:19 -0700 (PDT)

---Dan Fabulich <> wrote:

> When I toss a ball to you, your brain solves a differential equation
> that it can move your hands to the right place to catch it.
Children as
> young as five can do this. This is not to say, however, that
children as
> young as five are ready to learn calculus, but that the brain is
capable of
> reaching correct rational conclusions without being conscious of the
> process required to reach it.
> When we say that someone has solved a problem instinctively, that
> mean that they've done it wrong, nor does it mean that they weren't
> rational (or even non-rational) as they were doing it. Rather the
> difference is simply that the process by which they solved the
problem is
> unknown, even to the thinker.
> Why might this sort of thinking be valuable? Why not consciously
work out
> all of your conclusions, which would add to clarity of thought and
> confusion? Of course, instinct is often a lot faster than the
> layers of thought required to solve problems rationally and
> But more importantly, instinct may ultimately be the only way by
which we
> can "think outside the box," as it is often called: to break free of
> paradigms and to think about a problem in a new way. I think that if
> Extropians were to reject instinct as a mental tool we would have
far more
> to lose than to gain.
> Rational thinkers of the past have often rejected the line of
reasoning I
> present above; today, in the common vocabulary, "rational thinking" is
> believed to be contradictory to instinctive problem solving; without
> explicit disclaimers like the one I gave above, I can think of no
way to
> make it clear that Extropians welcome instinct as a mental tool, but
> that it must also be supplemented by a conscious criticism of our
own ideas.

If you include this disclaimer you'll need to add another disclaimer to cover the natural born instincts that are in direct conflict of interest with our goals. This is getting messy.

Maybe its just nostalgia, but I remember liking one of the early (1.?) versions of the principles more than any that has come since. I wish I would have saved it. What is an effective way to edit a document without getting the phenomena of "over editing"?

Joe Jenkins

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