Re: Nextropians: Where R They Now?
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 12:53:54 EDT

Anders Sandberg wisely cautions us against wallowing in nostalgia, writing:

> Hmm, just a memetic thing. Maybe we should stop complaining about the
> lost golden age and instead focus on the coming golden age of the
> extropians list?

Nostalgia can better our future, I suppose, if it encourages us review history for practices that we can implement now. But anyone who grieves for a "lost golden age" of the Extropians list had better double-check their facts.

The Extropians list in the early 90s had--*suprise!*--many of the problems that plague the current list. It had, for instance, a bad infection of argumentative and poorly-informed subscribers. Such problems impelled ExI to set up a list governance process and resulted in the expulsion of at least one subscriber--who thereafter apparently re-subscribed under various pseudonyms so as to continue hogging bandwidth with irrelevant personal screeds. The relative scarcity of bandwidth made such ignorant flaming all the more irritating.

There were, of course, a good many intelligent, well-informed, civil, and literate subscribers. But the current list has a good many of those, too. Did the list formerly host "bigger names? Probably not. Many of those folks were not yet well-known outside of our tight little circle. (I daresay that ExI can boast having made their radical work more acceptable to the greater public.) Furthermore, many other former subscribers, whose names never surface in our comparisons of present and future lists, never rose to stardom.

I am not counselling inaction in the face of current problems. As I noted, we took action in the past when faced with S/N problems. I mean merely to caution against ancestor worship. We have brains and backbone enough right here and now to tackle the current problems of the Extropians list.

T.0. Morrow