Re: FW: >H extropians list

Brian Manning Delaney (
Sun, 05 Sep 1999 21:03:43 -0700 wrote:
> In a message dated 99-09-02 23:09:27 EDT,
> (O'Regan,
> Emlyn) passed this comment on from another source:

>>> Make sure you do this on the list and not
>>> through email, as extropians have been known to
>>> take credit for ideas they got from someone else
>>> through email. At a recent extropy conference a
>>> whole talk by their "leader" was apparantly
>>> based on an idea taken from someone else's email.
>>> There may have been some original ideas in the
>>> talk as well. I don't know. But transhumanists
>>> should not tolerate this kind of behavior. It
>>> gives us a bad name.
>>> Libertarians seem to be so liberated they can
>>> liberate others of their ideas.......
>>> And a little more uprightness would help
>>> the transhumanist movement.
>>> Sorry it had to be said.

> What a complete crock of crap! I think I know
> what this person is utterly misinterpreting. It
> so happened that someone posted a comment about
> use of the word "posthuman" and "transhumanism"
> on the extropians list the afternoon before
> EXTRO4. (It was actually a pretty interesting
> post, if I recall correctly.) I barely saw it
> by checking my email from my hotel room with my
> notebook, but I know Max didn't see it because
> he was flying up from LA when it was posted and
> didn't have the time to check email during the
> conference. Max's talk, in part, addressed some
> of the same points, but in a very different way,
> and also addressed other issues. As if this
> person (whoever it is) thinks that Max's talk
> was based on an email on the ExList posted a few
> hours before he gave the talk! What utter
> nonsense!


That person who made the "post-human" posts was me, and now I feel horrible if my comments about "having discussed these issues through email in the past" with Max and other transhumanists -- and perhaps also the timing of my post? -- led Samuel to conclude that any similarity between my post(s) and Max's talk resulted from Max's having "liberated" the ideas from me. Not true at all. My emails with Max were quite brief and merely gestured towards the ideas in my recent post. (I did use the term "ultra-humanism" in an email to Max last year, which he says -- and I 100% believe him -- he simply forgot. I think I'm a few months older than Max so I'll chalk it up to "anxiety of influence." Kidding.) I probably shouldn't have mentioned the previous emails in my post but I wanted to refresh the memories of the interesting interlocutors, including Max, I spoke with on these issues, and perhaps draw them back into the discussion.

In sum: any conclusion about the lack of originality of Max's talk that is based on my post is entirely unwarranted; and I regret anything I (or my friend and colleague, Stan, who joined the List around that time) might have written to lead someone down this particular delusion path. I don't doubt that Max's talk was not only highly original, but highly stimulating as well. I regret that I had to miss it.


Brian Manning Delaney
(No need to CC replies to me.)