Re: our best intrests

den Otter (
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 19:46:13 +0200

> From: The SHO master c.c. <>

> I am curious if it is in the extropian intrest to recruit new
> members?

For the time being, yes. Any "movement" needs money and people
to operate. Of course, if too many (millions?) people joined it might
become a bureaucratic monolith, but I don't see this happening anytime

Btw, it might be a good idea to accept that transhumanism, just like
cryonics for example, is for the enlightened few. Of course some
preaching (in order to win souls) to the outside world is great, and
even necessary to keep the membership steady, but it may also
be a good idea to "turn inwards", and make things more worthwile for
the people you already have. Transhuman institutions like ExI
(or one specially created for this purpose) could offer more tangible
benefits to their members, or rather the members to eachother.

For example, now everyone has to more or less figure out for himself
what he can do to fully use today's technological potential. That is
hardly efficient. It would be good to have an easy-to-use, frequently
updated database where the best of all fields is registered, described
and recommended. From this database a program could be made
that members can take to become more efficient (like, dare I say it,
scientology has, only based on more enlightened principles). If
you can effectively make people "healthy, wealthy and wise" (and
immortal while you're at it) there should be a reasonable rise in
membership. A good product sells itself. Strengtening the internal
ties also helps: many folks are looking for a substitute family, and
therefore join a cult. Now instead of taking their money and turning
them into zombies you could make them into successful individuals,
who might help to spread the word and otherwise support the cause
(the ultimate cause of this mutual aid group could be to give every
member an optimal starting position when the singularity hits,
increasing the chances of survival.)

The above is a proven formula: just about any successful religion, cult
and political movement started out as a mutual aid group of people
with a clear common goal, that could operate with or without the approval
of the outside world. Right now it's a bit of a neither fish nor fowl situation,
transhumanists/extropians/cryonicists being regarded as a freaky "cult",
but not having a cult's benefits.