Re: MEME: First Contact with Extropian Memes
Sun, 27 Jun 1999 10:10:57 EDT

Here's my list of people whose work or life influenced me toward extropian thinking and values in my early years:

Arthur Clarke (most important personal impact, ages 11-14)
- Clarke has to be at the top of my list, if for no other reason that 2001: A
Space Odyssey. There's a passage in the book -- which I read and which completely blew me away when it was first published -- that is as clear and poetic a description of technotranscendance and total automorphism as one can find anywhere. Anders has posted my quotation of this passage and some
comments on it at:

Jacques-Yves Cousteau (most important personal impact, ages 8-12)
- Cousteau's use of technology to extend his own and humanity's reach into a
new environment and his personal energy, fearlessness, curiosity, breadth of vision, grace and expressiveness exemplified what I eventually came to realize were a pretty full set of extropian values.

Carl Sagan (most important personal impact, age 17-20)
- Sagan's poetic cosmic vision kept me passionately interested in our destiny
in space in the long drought after Viking.

Buckminster Fuller (most important personal impact, age 14-18)
- Fuller showed me that one could create an integrated personal futurist
vision that combined humanism and technology.

Paolo Soleri (most important personal impact, age 16-18)
- Soleri introduced me to the concept of mega-scale engineering.

Leonardo da Vinci (most important personal impact, age 9-14)
- da Vinci was like a proto-Fuller and made me comfortable with the idea of
being an individual with a humanist vision of worlds not yet realized.

Robert Heinlein (most important personal impact, age 9-16)
- Heinlein's work showed me the many textures of how individuals, technology
and society can fit together.

Ayn Rand (most important personal impact, age 16-18)
- Rand opened up the whole world of radical individualism for me.

Aldous Huxley (most important personal impact, age 16-20)
- Huxley opened up the doors of perception for me.

Timothy Leary (most important personal impact, age 16-19)
- Leary put a sense of humor on Huxley.

     Greg Burch     <>----<>
     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
                         "Civilization is protest against nature; 
                  progress requires us to take control of evolution."
                                      -- Thomas Huxley