WTA Update 3

Nick Bostrom (bostrom@ndirect.co.uk)
Sat, 20 Feb 1999 19:25:52 +0000

WTA Update 3
20 February 1999

Dear member,

Time for a new update.

Things continue to go well. Membership numbers are now up to 466 (from 275 last October). Reading the membership file recently, where many have used the comments-section to say a few words about themselves, it became clear to me that there is a huge untapped potential among our members. As a group, we possess an astonishing amount of talent, skills, and resources. And many stated that they were very eager to contribute, if only they knew what would be a suitable way of doing so. A challenge facing us is thus: how to release this potential?

>From experience, it appears that coordination through a central
mailing list is not an effective means of getting things done. Such lists are great for theoretical discussions but not so good for practical planning. I've been thinking a bit about this, and maybe one way to go is through local groups. Transcedo organized a great conference last year, and Aleph is doing the same this year (see below); local groups have also put up web sites and attracted some media attention. We should encourage the formation of more local groups.

Those of you who are interested in this may wish to go to http://www.transhumanism.com/groups.htm, which lists contact information for people in various parts of the world who want to get in contact with other transhumanists in their region. If there is somebody where you live, contact them; if not, you may want to submit your own details and we'll add it to the list. Once a region attains critical mass (which doesn't need to be very large), one of you may take the initiative and form an organization.

More news:

The FAQ project has been completed! The WTA is proud to present this 15000-word document, which attempts to answer the most frequently asked questions about transhumanism. It is meant to be useful for experienced transhumanists and newcomers alike, and for journalists and for people talking to journalists. In addition to whatever practical usefulness it may have, the FAQ also represents an effort towards developing transhumanist ideas into a coherent world view. Do check it out at: http://www.transhumanist.org It will be continuously updated and revised in response to new ideas and your critical feedback. If you want to comment on it, you can do so by viewing it through CritLink: http://www.crit.org/http://transhumanist.org. More than 50 persons have contributed to the FAQ. Thanks to all of you!

A new issue of the Journal of Transhumanism was published a while ago: A survey of attitudes about cryonics, by Scott Badger. The JTH is at http://www.transhumanist.com.

Finally, some exciting events coming up: In June 4-6, Stockholm, TransVision99, the second European transhumanist gathering. I expect this to replicate the fun, informal, friendly atmosphere of TV98. Then on August 7-8 we have EXTRO-4, in California, which might turn out to be the biggest transhumanist conference in the world so far. The Extropy Institute will do its best to match and surpass EXTRO-3 (not an easy task). Links to both of these events can be found at http://www.transhumanism.com/events.htm

Take care!
Nick Bostrom