Re: TECH: Fractal Tardis Brains
Fri, 11 Jun 1999 14:48:04 -0700

J. R. Molloy, <>, wrote:
> Paul Hughes wrote,
> >Extropy is about exceeding limits, not accepting them.
> Can you think of any limits that extropic Homo sapiens ought to accept
> rather than exceed?

It's fine to wish to exceed limits, and to think about whether there are ways to exceed limits. But "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride." We have to distinguish our wishes from reality.

If we want to make our lives as fulfilling and interesting and exciting as they can possibly be, we must distinguish between what is possible and what is not. And that means recognizing limits and working within them.

Partially it comes down to the time frame of what you are trying to do. I don't have nanotechnology to help me today, and I won't tomorrow. That is a limit which I must accept in my plans. I am not immortal today. That is another limit which I must take into consideration, for example by signing up for cryonic suspension. Ultimately that will no longer be necessary, hopefully, for we will have better means of extending life.

Right now, limitations like the speed of light are not very relevant. 100 years from now this will no longer be the case. Suppose at that time that it still looks like FTL travel is impossible. Should we proceed to figure out how to extend our influence under this limit, or should we determine to exceed that limitation? I think we would agree that maximizing our possibilities in the context of the constraints imposed by the universe can be a satisfactory and fulfilling goal.

I might mention, BTW, that some of the greatest art is produced by imposing limits, rather than removing them. Take a great artist and force him to use a child's box of Crayola crayons to make a drawing, and he will produce something breathtaking, something you would never have thought possible. The limitation itself acts as a spur to creativity.