META: List Topics (was: RE: Extropy and Rednecks)

Billy Brown (
Fri, 15 Jan 1999 13:19:33 -0600

Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> Arguments about vegetarians, animal rights, gun control, homosexuals,
> social classes, government actions, liberals, religion, class struggles
> should be on alt.politics instead of the extropians list.

Terry Donaghe wrote:
> Extropianism is not about technology or science. It is about a way of
> life that happens to promote technology and science as a means to the
> end of eliminating entropy.
> How can we grow as individuals (a definite aim of Extropy) if we limit
> our discussion to science and technology? Poor, inconsistent memes
> must be weeded on a continual basis.

On the one hand, I have to agree with Harvey Newstrom that debates about these topics tend to be remarkably sterile - anyone who cares about these issues already has an opinion, and is unlikely to change it. OTOH, one of the major things we stand to accomplish here is helping each other figure out how to cope with (and take advantage of) the future - and that means more than just technology.

IMHO, the problem arises when we forget where we are, and start arguing about a mundane topic (like gun control) from the perspective of the society we live in. That reduces us to dissecting the mistakes of the past, and assuming we are doomed to repeat them. Then we get a thread that could just as easily have originated in alt.politics, alt.religion, etc.

Surely we can do better than that. Aren't we supposed to be the ones who can see that the future will be different than the past? We should be focusing on how to solve problems in the future, not on how our ancestors should have done it 10, 100 or 1000 years ago.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I