Re: extropian memes in business week

Stan Kretler (
Sun, 19 Sep 1999 15:56:39 -0700

From: Natasha Vita-More <>

> At 04:19 PM 9/19/99 +0100, you wrote:

>>Spike Jones wrote:
>>> Is Business Week on a roll, or what?  27 September issue, p.142, article
>>> on directed evolution, lotsa cool extropian stuff.  Having that stodgy old
>>> publication present the memes makes them seem so much more
>>> mainstreamy.  I *guess* that is a good thing.  (?)  spike
>> It's just proof of stagnation in our little
>> group.  We need new, more radical
>> ideas and we need 'em fast.


> The point is that memes are spouted and the either flourish
> or they die out. If the goal is to spread memes, then
> certainly they will infiltrate culture and take on their
> own life. This is what has happened with many extropian
> memes. And, this is good. We should be toasting ourselves
> for our successes as memetic engineers.

A friend suggested I join this list about a month ago, and I have found it quite fascinating indeed.

However I still don't quite get what the list is about, and your suggestion to self-toast reminds me of my puzzlement.

The changes that I see taking place towards the end of this century, including those changes in discussion about the following century, seem nothing other than the logical, historically predicitable, outcome of the renaissance and the enlightenment. We're descendants of Bacon, Descartes, Newton, etc. Science improves, and eventually turns its eye towards the brain, towards artificial brains, and so on. This seems totally obvious, and was predicted years ago.

In a historically local way, advocacy plays a role in the particularities of how things develop. Is that what's being toasted?

I guess my general question would be: What's the big deal? I get the sense that a lot of what I read here is just cheerleading for the inevitable. I don't mean to say that it's not very cool stuff being celebrated. But it's just the train we're on, little more.


> We should be in the mainstream *while* maintaining our daring
> and original character.

Another way to ask my question would be: what is it that's daring here?

Sorry. I don't mean to be difficult. But I really don't get it. It makes me think that what really matters here are minor political battles like those involving Rifkin. Rifkin and his type are dead or dying. Speeding up the inevitable by a few years is a good goal, I won't argue that. Showing how Rifkin is silly might achieve that. But I don't see how it's *daring*.

(And does "meme" mean "idea"?)

Thanks for any assistance.