Re: the place of extropianism in history

brian keavey (
Fri, 08 Oct 1999 17:04:34 PDT

Extropianism will probably be seen as one of the major influences in shaping transhumanity, but it is much more questionable whether it will retain its current form. The present extropian movement embraces a set of principles very different from those of the mainstream. Our principles encompass a view of the future(s) that most people are not geared to understanding. If we are successful, this will gradually change(it may already be happening in a small way). But, in becoming more widely accepted, it is likely to lose much of its "differentness". Of course, in large part this will occur because extropian ideas will become more accepted. But the more controversial ideas of some extropians (human obsolescence, hard-line anarcho-capitalism, positive atheism, etc.) will become less important to the movement as a whole. They will not disappear entirely- there are, after all, still Stalinist/Maoist groups even after Russia & China have pretty much given up on communism- but as larger numbers of people embrace core extropian ideas, they will bring their own views to bear, and Extropian evolution, for better or worse will reflect this. And so we will have leftist-extros, populist-extros, survivalist-extros(no doubt promoting the value of survival retreats on the Moon as protection against nanowar...), Christian-extros, Muslim-extros(offering their women chadors that double as wearables?)
and, eventually, maybe even neo-neo Luddite extros(who want to focus on optimizing & upgrading bio-bodies, and rail against the "alienation from nature & our primal selves" that uploading entails....

And, in the elections of 2048 we'll find a big-eared agitator decrying the "giant sucking sound" of all our investment capital taking off for the asteroid belt. He'll contend in a primary against an opponent who will threaten to marshall an army of "programmers with pitchforks"(!) to combat the "soulless menace" of self-programming AIs. We will also be treated to
"mainstream" demagogues who will promise immortality subsidies, two
nanofactories in every home and a starship in every garage. And, when all is said and done, we'll be treated to the spectacle of "World President Elect" Hillary Rodham, Jr.'s inagural address, in which she will begin her lifetime tenure as an overblown welfare client by heaping praise on "all the great extropian thinkers who made me what I am today" and note verbosely that "Now, more than ever, it takes a village to construct a child"...

Brian Keavey
"Truly great madness cannot be acheived without
significant intelligence."- Henrik Tikkanen

Get Your Private, Free Email at