Understanding Extropian Principles

Rick Knight (rknight@platinum.com)
Tue, 27 May 97 10:15:44 CST

Peter McCluskey wrote:

"If you expect Extropian investments to be motivated by altruism, you
don't understand Extropianism very well."

I could treat this statement as a "what's so" or as a personal
judgment but I'll opt for the former, reminding you that in my
original post, I was *asking* for understanding so, if the quote was a
censure, it was redundant.

I would expect no human concern to be completely altruistic. We've
still got the survivalist trigger somewhere in our brain that keeps
narcissism at the forefront of our consciousness. However, if
humanity were in a life raft adrift at sea, I'd hope that an Extropian
would be the person most adept at navigating, protecting from the
elements, and rationing the food and water. S/he would be the leader
that would better assure the survival of the group because of a
natural tendency toward leadership, optimism and use of resources.

And yes, I think it's quite opportunistic to invest in something that
makes money for you and is not benefiting and could be harmful to
society. I've drank gallons of it over my life probably, it goes
great with pizza. Now, I consider it a treat. But many people guzzle
it like water. After the smoke has cleared and our society has agreed
upon the scourge of smoking and it becomes the habit of only the
weakest and feeble-minded, we will move our focus to the next and
probably more important level in collective health consciousness: junk
food. There is a tie between what we eat as a culture and how we
behave. Garbage in, garbage out.

Right now, the soft drink companies (as well as the tobacco) companies
are establishing international markets with people who are delighted
to have their products but are totally oblivious to the consequences,
health wise and environment wise as well (can you imagine all of China
with Coke with dispensed ice in plastic/paper cups?)

So, no, altruism need not be the primary goal of an Extropian way of
thinking but it certainly should be pressing on the minds of those
that are claiming a post human destiny and it should show up in their
lifestyle. You don't evolve just one part of your existence, you
evolve the whole thing: mind, body and spirit. If Extropians have no
concern of the latter, it's an incomplete and imbalanced philosophy
and I should continue my search for a more full-spectrumed approach to
conscious, biological and social evolution.


Rick Knight