As a reminder, here are the Extropian Principles as currently defined
by Max More, from http://www.extropy.com/extprn3.htm:
1. Perpetual Progress
3. Practical Optimism
4. Intelligent Technology
5. Open Society
7. Rational Thinking
Of these, I think Open Society and Self-Direction are the most relevant
to understanding the current crisis. The Arab nations lack openness, and
people are generally not able to direct their own lives, especially women.
It is difficult to maintain faith in Perpetual Progress and Practical
Optimism in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. Perhaps with time
and perspective we will be able to adopt a more hopeful attitude.
The idea of Intelligent Technology has prompted a number of suggestions,
most of them not very practical. I think part of the problem is that we
are thinking of how to apply IT to warfare. But the military is already
expert in that. I think we do better taking a longer term perspective
and thinking about how to open up these societies and bring them into
a more Extropian worldview.
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