Polymath List: Re: Extropians list to become two lists

Paul Hughes (planetp@aci.net)
Mon, 01 Jun 1998 23:12:46 -0700

Peter C. McCluskey wrote:

> The polymath has had much more influence on my ideas in the past 6 months than the
> extropians list had over the past 2 years.
> For example, I used to be pretty sure that nanotech and AI would cause
> a big, long-lasting increase in interest rates; I now think that the
> increase will be moderate and temporary.
> Unfortunately, most of the changes in my ideas are due to one person
> (Robin Hanson), so it is somewhat accurate to call the list inbred. I
> don't see an easy way to get more people of Robin's calibur on the list,
> and I suspect that opening the list would mainly cause the list to be
> more dominated by familiar ideas. The extropians list has become ordinary
> enough that I've virtually given up looking for important new ideas on it.

Perhaps I should clarify my position. Yes again, the level of discussion on the polymath
list is quite high and I have gleamed some very useful insights from it over the past few
months. I especially like the input of Anders Sandberg, Robin Hanson and Nick Bostrom.

However, in the end, it is the intrinsically elitist and *fallible* judgment of one
person (no offense Damien) that determines who gets to participate and who doesn't. I
don't see Max More, Dan Clemmensen or Daniel Fabulich on the list - all of whom have had
substantial influences on my own thinking.

However with a big "Sigh", I have yet to determine a more sustainable way to maintaining
a high S/N other than the way Damien has approached it. Anybody know of alternatives?

I think the most thanks should go to Anders, who despite his high caliber has
perseveringly continued a high level of discussion on *all* of the lists - at least I
*can* interact with him w/o resorting to private correspondence.

Paul Hughes