Robert Owen needs a few good men (and women) to get the job done...

From: john grigg (
Date: Sat Jan 08 2000 - 05:53:01 MST

Robert Owen writes:
>Where are the genuine ACTIVISTS in this population --not >polemicists, not
>opportunists, not wannabes, but individuals who >really want to accomplish
>something other than rhetorical victories?
Welcome to the Extropian Digest list!! :)
Seriously, I am isolated here in Alaska but based on what I read my
impression is things are getting done but by a relative few. Isn't that how
things usually work everywhere?! I see the Extro's carried out with top
scientists coming from all over to speak, Max and Natasha making many
appearances in the mass media, books being written, an Extropy Institute
website that as time goes by is improved and updated and probably many other
things too.

Actually, I think the digest fosters a sense of community and develops
friendships so is carrying out a very vital function. I can see though
where you would want grow frustrated with things, so please tell us how
things are done in your organization to accomplish goals.

Talk is easier then action. Also many people on the list are probably so
involved just trying to make a living they are limited in trying to do more
in their lives. Eliezer has his vision of the singularity institute but the
money is not yet there and may never be to the extent he needs.

I admit I have seen Max's requests for donations to cover debts and to have
programmers help him out. My understanding is he runs things on a very
small budget and out of his home. I bet he would love to devote his full
energies to developing the Extropy Institute if time and funding allowed but
at least being a professor of philosophy is a pretty cool day job.

In the cryonics world there is much the same frustration in terms of a lack
of support in the financial area. As is often said in Cryonet, there is no
need to go to outsiders for funding because in our own camp there is more
then enough money to go for our goals if people would only contribute
generously. I read sadly the posts of Paul Wakfer on this list in '96 when
he spoke of the need of support for the reversible cryonics suspension
project he created called the Prometheus Project.

With one generous and very rich multi-millionaire donor the Extropian
Institute could have the kind of infrastructure the "big" think tanks have.
Max, Greg, Natasha and the other officers could have a field day I bet with
a twenty million dollar donation but it may be a long way in coming. But
they have done so much really with very little.

Robert Owens wrote:
>Finally, I want you to believe that however assertively I may >present my
>current views on directions, approaches, tactics and >strategies, I am in
>every case most willing to compromise, or >relinquish, as necessary for the
>success of our endeavor. I would >much rather cooperate with a planI am not
>optimistic about than do >nothing. I feel, as you can sense, disturbed
>about what I see as a >tendency of this group to lose focus on action* and
>rather dissipate >themselves ininterminable debate, frivolous projects,
>mind-games or >pleasur-able but irrelevant chat that costs them
>nothing.This means >that I'm seeking a tough-minded group that will be
>known publicly, >not as people who desire to live forever,but as dedicated
>idealists >who fully intend to do precisely that- --despite mindless
> >opposition, ridicule, personal risk and daunting trials.Sincerely,Bob

That you would say this really impacted me. I hope your intelligence and
desire is put to good use. You are looking for your own extropian dirty
dozen to get the job done. I look forward to seeing how things develop.


John Grigg
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