Re: META: Extropians list to become two lists

den Otter (
Sun, 31 May 1998 03:45:59 +0200

> From: Paul Hughes <>

> den Otter wrote:
> > Anyway, I think there's still one type of list missing: "transhumanism
> > invitation only (or in any case restricted) list for hardcore transhumanists,
> Who decides who is worthy of invitation?

We could have a democratic vote ;-) Or use such guidelines as: membership
of a (any) transhumanist organization, suspension contract, frequency
of postings to the list etc, anything that indicates that this person takes
transhumanism seriously, and isn't just some lurking journalist looking
for a scandal, secret service guy looking for a bust, christian fanatic
looking for a spam etc. It's meant as a protective measure, *not* some
kind of elitism (for elitism, there's already the invitation-only Polymath
list, for example).

> And more importantly, what makes those who invite worthy of inviting?

An open yet critical mind?

> Although I agree the intention of having an invite only
> list will increase the overall level of dialogue, it will also have the opposite
> effect of shielding out others who might have intelligent ideas to contribute.

There would still be the main free-or-all list, no ideas would have to be lost.
Again, the proposed list is meant as a sort of free zone, where you can
say anything without worrying about general transhuman PR.

> The
> Polymath list is a perfect case in point. The level of discussion is intelligent
> but also completely inbred.

I couldn't agree more (no offence, guys) ;-)

> I don't see much memetic evolution taking place there -
> only the same ideas hashed over again, with an occasional new hypothesis to stir
> things up.

Yes, that's why discussions should be conducted as much as possible in the
open, and only taken "backstage" when absolutely necessary. Nevertheless,
right now we don't have a "backstage" (except for private email, which isn't
too convenient for broader discussions), and it would be nice to have one,
just in case.