Extropian Evolution [was Re: the pons asi[movi]norum...]

From: Robert J. Bradbury (bradbury@aeiveos.com)
Date: Fri Jul 07 2000 - 18:05:24 MDT

On Fri, 7 Jul 2000, John Clark wrote:

> Fortunately this inability didn't harm Asimov's self esteem much. In his
> autobiography he said that in his entire life he'd only met two people who
> were smarter than him, one was Marvin Minsky and the other was Carl Sagan.

It would be somewhat illuminating to know what their relative IQs were.
(IQ has its limitations, but its the only relatively universal measure
we currently have.)

I've only personally met Minsky and he is clearly a couple of std. dev.
above the norm. It is interesting to observe that Minsky speaks
admirably of only a few individuals, one that comes to mind is Winograd.
(Yet Winograd has done little of note over the last decade, IMO).

The interesting question would be, who among the current generation
are the leaders? Drexler/Merkle/Freitas come to mind, perhaps with Kaku
(though he has his shortcomings).

How do we determine the cutting edge people (in hard core sciences
[physics, chemistry, etc.]) and how do we balance them against the
"soft-core" sciences [economics, religion, philosophy, etc.] (not
that I think of them as such)? (Yes, of course, I realize I'm
making an arbitrary distinction between hard/soft-core; please focus
on the designation/education issues rather than the semantic issues)
If Robin or Max were to identify the "next generation" cutting-edge
economists/philosophers, who would they be?

It is a very interesting question re: extropianism, self-evolution,
etc. that the "leaders" are in their '30s-40s. Can they/we continue
to innovate in a way that attracts individuals, or is it time to
pass on the directional-perogative?

Just some thoughts,

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