Please throttle back your posting!

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Wed Oct 11 2000 - 20:43:00 MDT

Anders Sandberg wrote,

> As for DB, we'll see how it works out. I am always a bit sceptical to
> Big Projects.

The more I discover about Mitsuo Kawato's Dynamic Brain project, the more I want
to get involved with it.

> Seriously, I
> think it is a good thing to break out of the old molds and create
> anew. I guess this is why many oldtimers are not around, they are out
> there doing stuff. I foresee a very similar risk for me.

I can definitely foresee the risk for me (to the delight of many on this list),
but maybe not the direction. BTW, speaking of drop-outs-and-ins, I've heard
(People magazine) that Steve Wozniak spends much of his time
and some of his millions experimenting with parallel computing in his spacious
basement in Redwood City, California.

> I attended the EU Advanced Computational
> Neuroscience Course in Trieste for a month. Some interesting stuff,
> especially if you like me love neuroscience. Perhaps the most
> transhumanist talk was by Miguel Nicolelis, working on direct brain
> control of robot arms in rats and monkeys.

So, if we don't see you around the Extro-water cooler, it could mean you're busy
or here
I'll look for your name on the Lab roster.

Have you read _Methods for Neural Ensemble Recordings_?

> I also gave a few lectures on AI, neural networks and the history and
> future of computers to the participants in the Multimedia program at a
> local university. Hmm, *they* got a lecture on transhumanism - when do
> *I* get one? :-)

Well, you ain't gonna get one from me, since, as you might know, I favor Mind
Children, Artilects, Spiritual Machines, and Robo sapiens over transhumans.

> It might not carry that much weight to you or even the community here,
> but among many people it is a compelling reason to think that there is
> something undesirable with singularity. A knee-jerk libertarian
> reaction would of course to blame egalitarianism, but I think there
> are also deeper reasons. But it would be too complex to explain well
> at this time of night; I think I'll save it for a more careful
> analysis.

I'll be waiting...

>I definitely doesn't want to be the first upload but rather
>part of the research team (a scary thought for all would-be-uploads :-)

Doesn't scare me. How much will you charge for the ride?

> In reality, people opt for a technology when the benefits seem to
> outweigh the cost (as well as various other technology adoption
> factors); there is a group of innovators and early adopters who will
> try things long before the others and be the real guinea pigs. Often
> people adopt technology long before it is flawless, even when it is
> dangerous (airbags, airplanes, operating systems). As a Stanislaw Lem
> character remarked, we really ought to raise a monument to the honor
> of all those who died while attempting to discover what was edible or
> not - they helped us immensely. The same goes for the betatesters.

Yeah, ya gotta hand it to the first guys who drank cow's milk.
First Caveman: "You see that critter over there with the bag hanging under it?"
Second Caveman: "Ug. You mean the one with the engorged udder and teats bigger
than Alley Oop's old lady's?"
First Caveman: "Yeah, I think maybe it has good time juice in it."
Second Caveman: "Okay, I'll go over there and squeeze it, and whatever comes
out, I'm gonna drink it."

Personally, I'm not looking for any benefits to outweigh the cost. I figure they
won't charge me anything to volunteer, and in fact the researchers might *pay*
me to act as their lab rat. Perhaps I've seen too much of this cruel world, and
it makes me want out, but if I become the first upload (like there's a big
chance of that happening), I'd try to get to the computers at Stanford before
they zap me back.

> Here is something to think about: how to make it profitable to be an
> early adopter or beta tester? Society as a whole needs them, but they
> do not seem to derive that much benefit themselves and I would expect
> that memetic evolution would make them relatively scarce. We might
> want to create institutions that help them to thrive and produce
> experience.

Great idea! If you ever find such an institution, please give them my number,
won't you?

> I think I will keep even the body of the message family friendly and simply
> suggest a field trip to a store like the Pleasure Chest or Mr. S for an
> educational experience.
> Best Ralph

Welcome to Mr. S Leather Company & Fetters USA
4232 Melrose Ave (next to Faultline bar)
Los Angeles, California
310 7th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 863-7764
(800) 746-7677
(415) 863-7798 Fax
Michael M. Butler wrote,
> Note that if Max or whoever kicks me off the list, I'll figure I
> probably deserved it. Heck, I kicked myself off the list back in the day
> over violating the G*ns moratorium.

Why not create your own list?
If you do, I hope you'll invite me.
Sounds to me like you'd make one fine moderator (or un-moderator).
Waldemar Ingdahl wrote,
> Houston we've most definitively got a problem.

Houston here. Sounds like a personal problem.

Michael S. Lorrey wrote,
> ...All that Extropy has been to date is an intellectual
> exercise by some professional scholars and their armchair adherents. Our
> positions get pummelled in the media without opposition by any extropian
> activists whatsoever. There is no extropian activist organization, no
> fundraising mechanism. We could not possibly be any farther from activism than
> we are now.

I'll drink to that. The Foresight Institute R not us.
> Here's an idea - an extropian charity. We have a few Foundations already;
> let's work to try and come up with a fund to either "adopt a researcher" or
> "adopt a test subject", helping pay for the costs of drugs or treatment for
> the subject of, say, anti-aging research, or for some of the laboratory
> equipment, publishing fees, etc. for a researcher. This could expand further
> as more money became available - and it would be an unequivocal statement of
> our position in the War on Death.
> -Corey

All right! I hereby volunteer as a test subject in the War on Death.
(Do I get to take my psychotropic substance tote poke with me?)
Greg Burch wrote,
> We're seeing transhumanist ideas discussed in wider and wider
> fora, although usually without the label "transhumanism" or "extropian"
> (Kurzweil's book and Jaron Lanier's article in are good examples).
> Superficial discussions of the early technologies and initial ethical, social
> and political implications of transhumanism can be found increasingly in the
> popular press, from business magazines to publications like TIME and Newsweek.

That's a fact, Greg. I've seen Max and Nancy on TV more than once. All ya gotta
do is be yourself as an authentic extrope, and the media will love you.
Futurists are the darlings of media, even when they (the media) mock futurism,
they do it in a good-natured rather than mean way.

> would be GREAT if
> there was a single book out there that had "high throw weight" as Ralph
> Merkle says of the effect that Drexler's "Nanosystems" had on the field of
> nanotechnology. We really do need such a book, created and promoted in such
> a way that it can galvanize the high-credentialled academic world and serve
> as a focal point for rallying wider support for the movement.

I've pondered why some people waste time on e-mail lists rather than
writing/publishing their views between book covers. Then again, perhaps that
explains why Max doesn't participate more on this list. Wonder what he'll call
his first book. Someone else on this list seems to pick members' brains for
material to include in his novels. Like Anders says, "I guess this is why many
oldtimers are not around, they are out there doing stuff" Yeah, like writing the
Great American Extropian Non-fiction Best Seller. But the list functions like
the proverbial water cooler in the hall -- a chat room with decorum.

> We also need activism, though. As I repreatedly point out here, the
> opponents of augmentation and technological progress are well-funded and have
> a diverse and rich ideological foundation. They are also politically adept
> and active. Unless we organize a clearly-defined "pro-progress" coalition,
> we risk losing the battle for public support, which WILL be important in the
> crucial next few decades.

The strongest form of activism that could help speed and promote extropy would
IMO involve spectacular sucesses in the fields of nanotech, biotech, AI, ALife,
and the consilience/convergence of these domains in technological singularity.
We've no time for PR. We need breakthroughs more than activism, IMNSHO.
"Alex Future Bokov" wrote,
> Frankly I'm surprised to see resistance to innovation on *this* list.

Resistance to innovation on an innovative list constitutes double-extropic
non-brittle permutation.
Fwd from P. Agre:
> Two years ago you should have been
> studying the players in optical networking. And now? Well, if you
> were reading about it here then you'd be too late. That's the point.

So why read Agre?
Eugene Lietl:
> Because of growth function assymetry, extrapolating from the past is
> not very valid. Will national states at all survive on a century time
> scale?

Not if we can help it, eh?
somebody else wrote,
> Come up with the demonstrated technology to show that a
> Singularity is soon possible (Uploading/Neural Replacement?) and Joe Six Pack
> will embrace it.

I'll drink to *that*

Stay hungry,

--J. R.
3M TA3

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