Re: Extropian Principles

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Thu Sep 20 2001 - 10:59:34 MDT

From: "Anders Sandberg" <>
> Well, the self-direction part is rather variable. The main problem might
> be simply that many societies are so consensus-driven that
> self-direction becomes hard.

Yep, that's it. When democracy votes against evolutionary phase transition,
it's time for extropians to conduct the singularity by other means.

> To put it bluntly, the attacks were a minuscule blip in the big picture.
> In a way this is terribly sad - that human lives can be so irrelevant -
> and also comforting - life goes on. The attacks will have long
> consequences, but they hardly look like they can stop perpetual progress
> (unless we all laze back and let them).

Or unless the attacks inititiate a backlash of police state tactics which
include the (forced) relinquishment of scientific progress.

> Practical optimism is not something you lose faith in - it is something
> you do. A merely optimistic person might lose faith in his optimism, but
> when you know your and others happiness is something *you* create, then
> even the greatest disasters become merely unwanted challenges.

That's very true, and happiness generally results from what you do, rather
than from pursuing it as an end in itself. So it really doesn't make sense to
pursue happiness itself, because happiness comes as a consequence of other
pursuits (regardless of what the US "Declaration of Independence" says).

> As a general rule, trade is an excellent way of spreading/creating not
> just wealth, but also ideas and peace. When you trade with someone,
> getting into a fight with him is against your self interest, and the
> more nations and groups trade and communicate with each other the less
> likely they are to get into war with each other. Also, this trade allows
> ideas to sneak through old cultural barriers, making people question
> unworkable traditions and prejudices. Help set up a free press that
> cannot be easily stopped in the Middle East, and things will move even
> faster. It will still take more time than we like, but it needs to be
> done.

Trade has rendered some Middle East nations wealthy, but they have used their
wealth to intensify their belligerent religious fanaticism. Were it not for
their petro-dollars, these Middle East states could not afford to buy weapons
systems. So, while in principle trade is extropic overall, there are
situations in which geographic areas can trade natural resources for the means
by which to make trouble.

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment

We won't move into a better future until we debunk religiosity, the most
regressive force now operating in society.

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