Re: ExI: Cognitive Extropians

James Rogers (
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 01:15:14 -0800

At 09:22 PM 1/13/97 -0600, Eliezer wrote:
>>"Extropian" refers to a bunch of people, more rocket scientists than
>>cognitive scientists, who want to take over the Universe, improve their
>>bodies, and *occasionally* you will run into an Extropian who wants to
>>improve their minds.
>Well, that sure attracted comment! Not so much by so many people, as by
>so many (2) Extropian heavyweights. Which in itself is cause for
>comment; why did only the Extropian elite notice this statement? But
>forget that.
>The point being, oh James Rogers, oh Max More, that you two are, as I
>said, the few Extropians who think about IA. The rest are talking about
>rockets, cryonics, nanotechnology, thinking faster (but not better), and
>uploading... only to download into a physically omnipotent body and
>explore the Universe. The Extropians as a group still retain that
>old-fashioned worldview that says that the Universe is out there, that
>we must go and subdue it, and that we do this with lightsails and Von
>Neumann machines and the accouterments of physical power.

I am one of the Extropian elite? Why wasn't I told about this before?
I don't recall applying for the position...

>The most powerful humans on the planet, right now, are the computer
>programmers... the ones who accidentally stay up for 36 hours working in
>their private Universes. No mortal command was ever so absolute.

I must confess that this was among my primary initial attractions to
computers. To hard-core computer types, this statement is truer than most
people know.

>Rank these tenets of extropianism in order of personal
>A) Nanotechnology B) Singularity C) Libertarianism
>D) Space travel E) Intelligence amplification F) Internet
>G) Cryonics H) Artificial intelligence
>I) Postbiological bodies J) Uploading O) _____________________________

This list is incomplete if it is to include the full scope of Extropian
thought. What about ethics and morality? art? philosophy? psychology? memetics?

There is something inherently dangerous in ranking the "tenets of extropianism".
Group concensus and level of interest do not impart any type of objective
importance or value on a topic or area of study. Although I do have
preferences (=time-spent-thinking-about) for some topics over others, I will
abstain from this survey. I do not want to unintentionally lend unwarranted
importance to a subject by force of topical popularity.

-James Rogers