John Nash, proto-Extropian?

Date: Tue Feb 19 2002 - 15:56:42 MST

I've just started reading Sylvia Nasar's biography of mathematician John
Nash, A Beautiful Mind, on which the current movie is based. Nash made
major contributions to economics among other fields before descending
into schizophrenia. But this list of his earlier character traits sounded
eerily familiar:

 - "His heroes were solitary thinkers and supermen like Newton and

 - "Computers and science fiction were his passion."

 - "He considered 'thinking machines', as he called them, superior in some
    ways to human beings."

 - "At one point, he became fascinated by the possibility that drugs could
    heighten physical and intellectual performance."

 - "He was beguiled by the idea of alien races of hyper-rational beings
    who had taught themselves to disregard all emotion."

I think you could find people on this list who would share many of
these views. Attraction to Newton, Nietzsche, computers and science
fiction; exploration of drugs and supplements to enhance body and mind;
emphasis on rationality as a means to the truth; all are common elements
of Extropian thought.


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