RE: META: To my fellow Extropians

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 14:47:56 MDT

Guys, I am tempted to refer back to "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle
Maintenance," in which Robert Pirsig talked a lot about Quality.

Quality is hard to define precisely, but as with good music or a great
relationship, you know it when you experience it.

On a messageboard, staying on topic may be correlated with Quality somewhat,
but it's certainly not identical with Quality

Extropians@ once had Quality. Now it does not.

Another list I was once on, chaopsyc@, has also suffered a substantial
Quality degradation. But it hasn't turned into a high-volume, low-content
list; it's just become low-volume.

At the moment, as Eli rightly points out, is a pretty
high-quality list. The discussion is mostly focused on Singularity-related
stuff, but when it's not focused on that, at least it's usually fairly

Internally within Webmind Inc., we had some ~very~ high-quality lists, some
high-volume, some low. But this was a carefully selected group of people
working on related projects, so this is hardly surprising.

The way to save a list, in my experience, is for a core group of people to
start and maintain extremely high-quality, high-frequency threads, meanwhile
ignoring the low-content remarks that pop up around the fringes. This is
much more effective than complaining!

But I am not going to rise to this challenge at the moment; I'm going to go
do some more actual work instead ;>

-- Ben Goertzel

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of John Marlow
> Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2001 3:10 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: META: To my fellow Extropians
> Actually, there is no discernible focus to this list, nor has there
> been for some time--other than edgey technology.Hence, there's
> nothing (in practice) remotely approaching relevant posting criteria.
> This leads those who've not been here forever to think, "Well, gee--
> maybe this would be of interest" and to toss it out there. Many if
> not most posts have little to do with the transformation of humanity
> into something posthuman.
> jm
> On 26 Apr 2001, at 14:31, Brian Atkins wrote...[]
> John Marlow

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