Re: Skeptics Take on the Extropian Concept

Paul Hughes (
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 22:44:50 -0800


> Extropian art? I've just do not get it. What is the
> significance of art by people who actively strive for
> transhumanism. I am not saying it has no significance. But
> how significant is it in the grand scheme of things?

In the context your using it, I could really care less about the grand
scheme of things. What I do care about, is the life I lead and those I
find around me. Only then can you have any significant impact on the
"grand scheme of things". Besides, a life without art or beauty is a
life not worth living. What's the point of living indefinitely if you
can't enjoy it? That includes sex - the most intimate connection
possible between two entities in the known universe.

> I just do not see the relevance of
> even addressing sex or fashion in the same context with
> discussions about nanotechnology, AI, uploading, Singularities,
> etc.

Nanotechnology has to be the most sexy thing I can possibly conceive.
Imagine the degrees of intimacy that will become possible between two or
more uploaded conscious beings. For all intents and purpose, two
uploaded people could completely merge into one super-entity - the
offspring of their own memes. If that does not make sex relevant, I
don't know what does.

> New ways of thinking are very vulnerable to being viewed as
> cultish nonsense. Nonsense in the vein that people seize ideas
> that resemble salvation from present circumstances. Designated
> groups, name changing, questionable commitment to the real issues,
> it sounds like a cult more than an intellectual critique of the
> future (and more importantly how we can get there while also
> performing the trick of survival).

If we eliminate all name changing from history - "ooggaa lulao ugga
lugga!" is all we got left! As for questionable commitment to real
issues; death and taxes are real issues - issues which this community
has addressed with some of the most constructive solutions I have ever
seen. Do you have any better ideas? If so, lets hear them! Besides, the
level of commitment of people like Max More who went from publishing a
small college zine, to gathering some of the greatest thinkers (Marvin
Minsky, Eric Drexler, Ralph Merkle, Kevin Kelly, F.M Esfandiary, Roy
Walford) into one room is highly commendable... Questionable commitment
to real issues - what are you talking about?

Paul Hughes