RE: extropians in popular entertainment
Tue, 19 May 1998 00:17:05 +0000

> is there extropian thought to be found in popular
> entertainment? i nominate the following:
> music: what a beautiful world this will be (~1983, artist unknown)
> movies: contact, or 2001 a space odyssey
> literature: ?
> television: six million dollar man?
Not being in touch with popular entertainment is one thing, but you
left out some very important specimen.
In music, the whole genre of electronic music, from minimalistic
techno to grandiose ambient, the whole thing is about what you call
Extropia or transhumanism. Listen to FutureSoundOfLondon's trilogy
Lifeforms, ISDN and Dead Cities. If this isn't transhumanism in music
(granted, in an abstract manner) I don't know what is.
In movies, well, some of Cronenberg's all time sci-fi megahits,
Scanners and VideoDrome deal with this issue in the most intelligent
and sophisticated way I've seen. And if you're in the Cronenberg
shelf, check out The Brood and maybe even The Fly and The Dead
Zone, though they're not such good films, they all talk about
Let us not forget the Japanese cult classic Tetsuo: The Iron Man, a
hard-to-watch-but-still-worth-it ultrapiece.
There are many many more, these are just the most notable.
In literature the examples are too many to name, I'm sure that if you
throw a stone in the sci-fi section of any bookstore you'll have at
least a 20% chance of hitting one.
What's left? Oh yes. The wonderbox. A transhumanity engine in itself
if you ask me. Well, being the most popular and populistic of the
mediums listed, there isn't much room there for fringe philosophy so
there aren't very many shows that dealt with that. I can't think of
any important non-cartoon extropian show apart from the one you
mentioned, but I'm sure there are, and even surer there will be.