Re: Extropian country

den Otter (
Sat, 21 Feb 1998 19:27:41 +0100

> From: Eugene Leitl <>
> On Fri, 20 Feb 1998, den Otter wrote:
> > > [ virtual Extropia? ]
> > All of the above is very useful, but not a substitute for an autonomous
> > extropian nation. You might be relatively "free" while surfing the net,
> It is more-or-less, and also a lot easier to implement. It can also be a
> testbed for nonvirtual Extropia (which, for the record, I must consider a
> yet another (and powerfully distracting at that) dream).
Distracting from what, exactly? Everyday life?

> Me, I'd just be
> deliriously happy to survive the Singularity (i.e. having a continous
> trajectory in persona space thru the Singularity).
Unless transhumanists get somehow organized the chances that any of
us will make it past singularity are close to zero; the powers that be will
crush us all like worms. Only (some of) the rich and powerful are going to
make it.

> Btw, is the current ad
> hoc Californian Extropians enclave not sufficient/is a natural segregation
> focus? (Anybody in residence over there care to relate your experiences?)
I'm sure the Exclave is a lot of fun, but hardly comparable to a sovereign

> > but you still live in the real world where you're pretty much at the
> > mercy of the often whimsical government and "society". Furthermore,
> I think the idealist escapist in you makes you gloss over the rough edges
> far too easily.
No-one said it's *easy*, but it doesn't take a superhuman effort either. Others
have done it, so why can't we?

> Unless a full-blown neoludd witchhunt is on (then
> presenting an easy target is definitely not a good idea),
The neoluddites are an insignificant bunch of morons, and not
the real problem. Organized crime and governments on the other

> the interference
> of state can only be considered a minor (albeit definitely
> resource-draining) nuisance. Yeah, it's not pretty, but it won't hinder
> your plans enough to prevent the altogether. If yes, your plans may not
> have been that robust after all.
A lot of small nuisances still can make life miserable. Instead of enduring
decades of paying taxes, filling out forms for every stupid thing, waiting periods,
legal injustice, petty crime and all the other crap that's related to our societies,
you can focus on one major effort, and reap the fruits for many years to come.
A private nation is an investment that can ultimately save you a lot of money
and frustration. It's the embodyment of personal freedom and responsibility.
Of course things can go wrong, but then again you can also lose your job
and be unable to get another one, for example. Life is a risk, no matter what
you do.

> > virtual networking is nice to chat and make initial contacts, but if you
> > *really* want to get something done you'll still need get togeter
> Does distributed project coordination, a focused newsfeed (time is money!)
> and digicash transfer strike a vein? The importance of _direct_ matter
> manipulation may be further diminished if we consider minimal telepresence
> capability expected to become available in the next two decades, or so. In
> any case you could purchase the services desired, albeit efficiency might
> suffer. Of course this is a just another sterile Geekonia dream. So sue
> me.
Aren't all kinds of virtual activities best conducted from a safe haven with your
own sandy beach and waving palms? ;) For some very lucrative business like
new designer drugs (the "grey area" kind that's not yet universally recognized
as illegal) and virtual porn (apart from kids just about anything goes) and
world lotteries and other gambling activities (virtual or otherwise) a distant
retreat is highly recommended. Money & fun in the sun, what else could
you want?

> > IRL. Besides, a new nation is *adventure*, an energizing inspiration to
> > all, a great service (refuge from persecution) and a potential source
> Also, it is a great resource sink, and just an invitation to having you
> all conveniently extinguished (yes, chronic paranoia _can_ become a
> lifestyle).
I think you're a lot safer on your private island than in a big city, for example,
and *should* someone try to bother you (which is unlikely if you keep a
reasonably low profile) you have at least the means to defend yourself
(your budget is the only limit).

> Btw, anybody having a wager when we will see the first
> (sub)tactical nuke use, and by whom? Similiar bets as to bioweapons'?.
I think Israel's gonna see some action within the next five years or so.
The former USSR is also a likely candidate, of course, and it wouldn't
surprise me if some US city got a taste of home-brewn chem/bio before
the end of the century. All very predictable...

> > of considerable income (something this movement is in dire need of).
> Judging from the cryonics movement (at least two instances?) and
> Scientology dogma can be a great motivation for individual finance
> resource accretion.
Yes, we need more dogma! Dogma inspires people, vague ideas don't...
(only half-joking).

> Being a personal success beakon will make extropy look
> like more than a yet another weird Californian cult. Imho. (And having ExI
> not permanently teetering at the edge of bankruptcy (feel free to correct
> me) should also help to increase the memefection rate somewhat).
What's the alternative plan, then?

> > Founding a new nation gives a sense of direction to transhumanism,
> > and it's an useful drill for the next logical step: migration to space.
> By the time we are supposed to get hit by that fabled Singularity I'd
> expect only a few 10 k persons in (mostly, cislunar) space, if at all. A
> malignant Singularity will thus have an easy time to having your systems
> perverted, when looking for minimax paths into space. Autistic fugitives
> at the periphery ought to have a fairly good chance, though. Call me
> Ishmael
How do autistic fugitives get access to the first body enhancers/upload devices?
They don't (unless they somehow build such a machine by themselves, which
is unlikely at best). Athough money will lose it's value in the singularity, it will
be crucial to have plenty of it to get a good starting point. Whoever gets hyper-
enhanced first, wins. The rest might very well die, because the greatest
threat to a superpower is another superpower, and since all humans are potential
superminds they will need to be neutralized (and killing is probably the most
efficient way). Not pretty, but nontheless a reasonably likely scenario for the
"singularity" if rich criminals and governments get this technology first.
Isolated cybergeeks don't stand a chance against these forces, but an
organization might pull it of (construct an "uploader" before anyone
else does).

> > This should be possible if all pioneer groups interested in this combine
> > their forces. Differences can always be settled once we're offplanet.
> Oh yes, and my augmented hamster is building a wormhole drive.
I wish him the best of luck!