Re: EXTRO-3: a former layabout from England writes

Max More (
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 13:43:00 -0700

At 08:55 AM 8/10/97 +0100, Darren wrote:
>Of course, if you're a transhumanist extropian, you can't attend a
>conference where K. Eric Drexler is the after-dinner speaker, and leave not
>feeling that his presence was the reason for yours.

I was delighted that both Drexler and Minskey announced their arrangements
for cryonic suspension. That will be one of the highlights for me.

>For me, the surprises lay elsewhere in the proceedings. The conference
>seems to me a monumental achievement for the Extropy Institute. That so
>many radically conservative thinkers could be assembled into such a small
>space all at the same time is a most pleasing opportunity to those of us
>who have our minds open to the future.

Thanks, Darren. But </hubris mode ON> wait until next year! </OFF>

>Anders Sandberg has made an indelible impression on my memory with his talk
>covering techniques to improve recall and the process of thought. What a

I know that many people, certainly including me, greatly enjoyed meeting
the person behind those frequent transmissions from the distant star Sweden.

>I did find the inclusion of a debate on the future of gender quite bizarre.
>I fail to see that gender has any long-term future

It certainly has a future as long-term as the introduction of
nanotechnology, so I don't see why you would find it bizarre. The topic
obviously interests many people and has much influence on our behavior and
sense of self. Gender may change drastically over the coming centuries, but
you need to provide an argument that it has no long-term future. You may be
correct, but that's not obvious. For most of the next century at least, I
see gender becoming increasingly individualized but not extinct.

>legs. Of the panelists, only Natasha actually commented on the FUTURE of

I too would like to have heard more focus on the future from the other
panellists. Chris nicely laid the biological foundation. It would have been
good if Sharon had focused more on the psychology of future genders.

>couldn't grasp just what, in a posthuman world, I would need gender for. I
>I had some sympathy with Kathryn Aegis, whose widely heard yet silent
>statement was the loudest of all contributions. (She wasn't there.)

I have to disagree. First, Kathryn's absence had nothing to do with a view
that gender would be irrelevant. Secondly, the loudest contributions come
not from silence but from participation.

>Greg Stock, by contrast, was fascinating.

If you missed Greg's excellent talk and will be in the LA area a month from
now, he may be speaking at the LA Gerontology Research Group at UCLA
(second Monday of September).

Thanks for you feedback, Darren. I appreciate all the encouraging comments
which are boosting me to start thinking immediately about EXTRO 4.


Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute:,