Re: META: New horizons for the Extropians list

Max More (
Sat, 19 Jun 1999 10:57:59 -0700

Harvey: Thank you for your graceful response. I *was* taken aback by the tone of your comments. However, I can understand very well how frustration combined with overwork can alter one's normal responses.

At 09:45 PM 6/18/99 -0400, Harvey wrote:
>I'm afraid that quite a few things have frustrated me recently: the
>realization that many of the old-timers are off the list,

Personally, I don't find this frustrating, as I don't expect the same people to stick around on the same list for 7 or 8 years. Certainly I enjoy seeing high-quality posters such as Hal Finney staying with us over the long haul. But if folks are focusing on other areas, I dont this as a problem. It may actually be a sign of progress. Just one example--one of the early list subscribers, Eric Raymond has been much in the news due to his open source campaign. (Today's news was that he was amazed to be invited to come and talk at Microsoft!) If we have some more focused lists (while keeping an exi-general or exi-social list), some people might stay with those lists longer since they will be more efficient.

>I'm not sure what to do about it, but I get really frustrated at lack of
>progress in many areas. I get frustrated that many grand ideas never go
>anywhere. I get frustrated that collections of great minds end up bickering
>rather than collaborating. I get frustrated that forward-thinking groups
>often seem indistinguishable from any other flame-fest on the net. Even
>with all our aspirations, we end up being only human after all. I guess we
>still have a lot of work to do.

Certainly. Though much *does* get done. The results may not always be obvious since they move off-list. ExI has never managed to acquire the resources to fulfil all its goals, though we are continuing with the highly popular Extro conferences. Extro 4 will demonstrate an earlier idea by an ExI member that has come to a rather impressive fruition: Dr. Christopher Heward, who spoke at the first two Extro conferences on life extension, will be giving the first public presentation on a new, very well-funded company that offers a unique, individualized program based on the "biometrics" idea he spoke about at those past events.

Some of the progress being made is subtle and diffuse, yet real. The ideas discussed and developed in Extropian circles are rapidly becoming discussed and even accepted far more broadly. (The recent note about George Will further confirmed this.) Even though ExI lacks the resources to do much that it would like to do, it has acted as a center for information that has spread out through numerous media outlets. In addition, ExI continues to serve as a network for individuals who are achieving many things in their own fields.

Currently ExI's most important project is the Extro 4 conference: Biotech Futures. I would love to hear suggestions as to how to leverage this event to communicate our thinking to others, how to follow up on the event, etc.

[If you are new to the list and don't know about the conference, please visit our website and check out the program and list of speakers.]



Max More, Ph.D.
<> or <>

Implications of Advanced Technologies
President, Extropy Institute: EXTRO 4 Conference: Biotech Futures. See