Re: Selfishness (Was: Re: Polemics for longevity)

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 12:41:35 MST

Robert Bradbury wrote,
>As Max pointed out, the scientific term is "negentropy". It comes
>up alot in Robert's study of the evolution of life, "Xenology".
>It is likely that J.R. meant this, since "extropy" doesn't really
>come into the picture until Max created it.

I like to think of extropy as the opposite of entropy because of the linguistic
symetry involved. It parallels the construction of /exit/ and /entrance/ as
opposites. In his 1994 book _Out of Control_, Kevin Kelly writes, "They are not
sure what they are looking for, but they intuitively feel that it can be stated
as a complementary force to entropy. Some cll it anti-entropy, some call it
negentropy, and a few call it extropy." (p.405)

>From the same book, "In the 1950s, the physicist Erwin Schrodinger called the
life force "negentropy" to indicate its opposite direction from the push of
thermal decay. In the 1990s, an embryonic subculture of technocrats thriving in
the US calls the life force 'extropy.'" (p.106)

Of course, it really doesn't matter what you call it. "A rose by any other
name," and so on. I only invoked the term extropy in answer to Robert Owen's
question, "Why are we not all bacteria?" because I think the constellation of
concepts called extropy addresses this question better than any other approach
I've found.

Grok it and rocket,

--J. R.

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