Re: Words Hurt

Erik Moeller (
Fri, 24 Apr 1998 22:31:22 +0200

John Clark:

>Oh you horrible horrible man! My world view is based on Extropian thought,
>emotional life is hinged on it, but now you use your superior intelligence
>and knowledge to expose my belief system for the hollow shell that it is.
>You big bad intellectual bully you, don't you know how deeply your words
>Extropians are delicate creatures, but you use cold logic to prove that all
>that we thought was true and beautiful is really meaningless and ugly, and
>that my life is nothing but one big lie built on a foundation of sand. Oh
>the shame of it all, life is no longer worth living. I'm going to go to bed
>now and cry myself to sleep.

You see, just that Extropy is a cult doesn't mean that it's as stupid as
Christianity. Especially your postings on this list have often been
enlightening to me and usually of high quality (although you have a
psychical bug that often causes you to rant like this. Never mind, have the
same bug). It's just that the _basics_ of your worldview are beliefs and
wrong assumptions that do not correlate with reality. That's why I wrote
"your fundamentals are built on sand". The building itself may be made of
steel concrete, but it's still no safe place to live in.

Maybe I will dissect the Extropian Principles some other day. For now, I
just advise you not to be too one-sided. Revise the basics of your thinking
often, for if they are wrong, all further work will be negatively biased.
You probably guessed that I mainly refer to the idea of free markets. For a
start, don't evaluate whether they are good or bad but whether they are
pratically possible in today's political and economic power structures. You
have agreed with me in the past that today's big industry supports
government because they get in trouble without them. Do you really think you
stand any chance against The Powers That Be [TM]?

Of course I also refer to your idea of individual freedom, which has other
problems. If people are uneducated, they will make the wrong decisions --
you can either force people to do the right things, which is tried in
current systems, or you can educate them better. *Or* you just leave them
do anything they want to do and watch the world go to hell. Guess which path
I would take. And -- of course -- I refer to the idea of freedom itself,
which is only possible in a physical sense. There is no freedom of mind, no
free will or whatever you call it. Decisions are dependant on information.
You can make the masses think what you want if you got the media.

Then there's this strange desire for immortality, which I do not oppose but
cannot understand. You get immortal through your deeds, not through your
biological existence. If you live forever but achieve little or nothing,
what's your immortality worth? Then there's Extropy itself, the idea of
bringing order into the universe, colonizing space & building up space
industry. Most of these ideas are either derivated from the false free
market meme or from old thinking (strive for room to live in, colonize other

That's the most common meme bugs in Extropian thinking. There are others,
less common ones, like the gun advocacy and the cryo discussions. They are,
however, not characteristics of Extropy. The beliefs above are, they are
part of the Extropian ideology (even if not clearly expressed, they are
commonly shared).

But if you do not even allow criticism on the list, these points will never
be discussed and revised for most Extropians. If you give me a tag to
include in messages criticizing Extropian thinking, I'd be happy. This way,
they could be easily filtered for those who just want to believe. Why do you
think am I still here? Because I hate you all so deeply? Certainly not. But
we'll have to fix a lot of basic stuff before we can start serious
discussions on this list.

Erik Moeller

PS: I wish you long days and peaceful nights -- may your sleep be better
than after my last message.