Re: Thoughts on NodeNet

Sarah Marr (
Mon, 08 Jun 1998 11:44:01 +0100

At 21:55 05/06/98 -0600, Michael Nielsen wrote:

>How will this system differ from Usenet?
>Consider especially that there already exist structures for moderation, a
>world-wide system for distribution, a large user-base, and tested
>protocols. Propogation is reasonably fast and reliable.

I think you answered this in your mail. One other answer is, 'marketing'
(cf. Betamax vs. VHS).

>I am consistently amazed at the extent to which technical innovation is
>centralized in the US. This has great cost benefits for people wishing
>to reach innovators. If I wished to reach the technical innovators of
>tomorrow, I'd target Stanford, Caltech, Berkeley, MIT, and a few other
>places, inviting bright undergraduates and graduate students to take

Free membership for the best essay written by an undergraduate in the
following disciplines, etc.

>> The former are
>> kept abreast of developments, and on-going work, whilst the latter,
>> initially joining for communication purposes, are naturally guided in
>> directions desirable to Extropian Principles by their contact with ExI.
>I do wonder how likely that is. My own guess, no doubt influenced by my
>own political biases (more socialist than libertarian :-), is that the
>less philosophical baggage, the more likely the scheme is to succeed. At
>times, if ExI wants input from the best innovators around, it is going to
>have to bite its philosophical tongue.

I quite agree. But, also, the philosophy of Extropianism, particularly its
politico-social philosophy might be appropriately restricted by the
specialization and stratification of the nodes. For instance, the political
arguments may not find there way on to the scientific lists. In many ways I
consider this a good thing. One of the strong attractions of Extropianism
for me is its transhuman interests which lend themselves to scientific
debate, without getting lost in the mire of political thought. (Not to say
that the two aren't interlinked, or that that linkage is not important.
Merely to say that sometimes separation is a good thing.)

>> And for those of you who see money as the solution, then rest assured some
>> revenue generation planning would form part of the grand scheme.
>To get something going I imagine that revenue would be needed less than
>time and creativity. Later on, such a system may pay for itself.

Or, if it really takes off, more than pay for itself. And that revenue
would form the basis of ExI's ability to further expand, including,
perhaps, the awarding of grants to certain parties.