Re: PHIL: Extropy, Boundaries and Suicide

Anders Sandberg (
28 Feb 1998 23:18:01 +0100

Michael Lorrey <> writes:

> Extropians List subscribers could be construed by mainstreamers to:
> a) have social dysfunctions indicated by the fact they spend so much time
> discussing strange topics on an internet mail list, therefore have
> difficulty interacting with people in the 'real' world.
> b) have a difficulty distinguishing their internet life from their real
> lives (if they have real lives), and in fantasizing about htings like mind
> uploading and a mythical transhuman singularity, nanotechnology and jupiter
> brains, have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality.
> c) in their wishes to upload their minds (which seems like it would be a
> destructive process), support the right to suicide, promote the use of guns
> for self defense, and have themselves frozen, they demonstrate a lack of
> concern for their own safety and well being, and are likely to hurt
> themselves.
> So an active and dedicated extropian could be construed to be quite ill.

Good try. And I have no doubt that some people would agree with you (I
have a friend (!) who distrusts *anything* I say since I'm obviously
"mad" because I discuss uploading and similar topics). But if you ask
any serious psychologist och clinical psychiatrist, they will at most
agree with a and b, and that is just a fairly benign personality
disorder (compared to what they usually deal with, it is). Of course,
if you go to a psychoterapist, he will immediately tell you that you
are ill and in need of help, but they say that to everybody (OK, I'm
not very fond of psychotherapy :-).

> Thats my point. The members of this list are entirely TOO rational and
> logical, as compared to the general population. That we can rationally
> discuss such theoretical subjects as a transhuman singularity without (too
> frequently) going off on almost theological trysts indicates that the
> members of this list are not normal.

Quite. And who wants to be normal? Normal people are so boring! The
trick is to avoid being normal while retaining sanity.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y