Re: Frontierism

Forrest Bishop (
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 18:21:14 -0500 (CDT)

Rielly Jones wrote:
>Anders Sandberg mentioned frontiers of space and the Net, there are other
>formulations of "frontier" floating around in the conceptual stew.

>There is a recent history of viewing physical frontiers as promoting virtue
>or redemption through various forms of imperialism, whether earlier
>colonialism or later global "running-dog" capitalist. John Ruskin in 1878
>was very influential in promoting the British mission to expand into the
>frontier of less virtuous peoples, quite similar to American "Manifest

God said 'exterminate them Injuns', and it was good.
I think these kind of doctrines are an afterthought, or gilding over of
primal imperative.
One nice feature of the rest of the Solar System is the low occupancy rate,
as I find it necessary to point out to my Cherokee friend, who thinks we should
clean house here on Earth first.

Frederick Turner's essay "The Significance of the Frontier in
>American History" (1893) argued that.., opportunities for
>growth and self-renewal would be shut off, leading to decadence. Turner
>held that the frontier experience was central to America's character, "the
>meeting point between savagery and civilization." In other words, an
>extropic arena of vitality.

Well, this is what I get for replying to email in reverse order. This sounds
like the essay I am looking for, and may still be a very relavent document in
Extrpoic theory.

>Frontiers are not "goals," a frequent misapplication of the term, they are
>boundaries. They are really physical, meaning spatial, or rather
>territorial. Any use of the word "frontier" outside of this meaning is
>only metaphorical.

Just so.

> We are too hemmed in here. We
>are like restless ants, and our restlessness is ratcheting up. Space is
>only real physical frontier to escape the

(insert capitalized neologism of your choice).

>Absent a frontier, absent space to dream in, and move in, humanity implodes
>into a stagant dogmatic sinkhole.

cf "present day"

This bears repeating:

> From the experience of the Crusades ..[[etc]] it has been *Space* (or Extension)
>, that was placed
>at the pinnacle of spirituality. Our true longing, to expand and grow,...,
is to leave earth physically and explore outer space.

>Short of being able to do this, we are reaching out to create and then tame
>the wilderness of cyberspace. Cyberspace, after all the media hype is
>boiled down, is simply a temporary stopover, a holding pattern, until our
>technology advances further into real space...

Forrest Bishop