Re: Dynamic Optimism

Max More (
Wed, 23 Jul 1997 21:58:14 -0700

At 12:27 PM 7/24/97 +0000, DAmien wrote:
>The logo, whether
>you wish to admit this or not, doesn't just resemble the new Hong Kong flag
>(which, it's true, came along rather later), but tends to elicit creepy
>connotations of swastikas and the Africaaner racist/fascist emblem.

I don't know the latter. I'll admit the the *old* spiral logo, with four
rather than five arrows, could look like a modified swastika. I have not
found that to be a problem with the current one. It's interesting how
reactions vary. You find the spiral logo poor memetic marketing; many
others have told me the exact opposite. I'm glad to hear input on this and
will keep monitoring it in case the balance of opinion shifts.

>None of this has anything directly to do with the worth of the ideas
>signified. Forrest suggests that `Realistic Optimism' might be preferable.
> I'd recommend `critical optimism' (and ixnay the caps, a standard mark of
>crackpotism). Using the word `critical' does tend to turn off a lot of
>people whose mental functioning operates at the Men Are From Ma's level,
>but it fits in to the mainstream of western philosophical analysis, not to
>mention Popperian accounts of how science works.

While I dislike "Realistic Optimism", I do rather like "critical optimism".
However, in version 3.0 of the Extropian Principles, critical thinking will
be emphasized under the principle of Self-Ownership. I agree about the
capitalization, except that they are appropriate when used to refer to the
principle directly. They are not appropriate in a sentence like "are you
thinking with dynamic optimism?" Caps have a legitimate place but
definitely should be used very sparingly if you're not to look like a loon.
Thanks damien broderick. ;-)


Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute:,
EXTRO 3 CONFERENCE on the future: