Re: v2.5 vs v3.0

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Oct 12 2000 - 13:33:44 MDT

Max More wrote:
> Dan: Thanks for your responses to Elaine's rather snide comments on the
> Principles. You clearly explained the reasons for some of the changes.
> Mike: None of the changes have anything to do with being PC. Both Curt and
> Dan explained the change from "Dynamic Optimism" to "Practical Optimism".
> The stress is on actually *doing* rather than hoping and wishing.

I understand the intent, which I share. However, whenever I hear someone saying
'lets get practical', its typically some control freak cynic who wants to paint
a visionary pioneer as a wild eyed nut job, or at best as an unworldly
intellectual who needs help tying their shoes.
> As for "Perpetual Progress" -- I think you're off-base to say this is the
> *opposite* of "Boundless Expansion". If you're determined to interpret it
> that way, in contradiction to the actual text, then I can't stop you. BE
> sounded to many people like growth for growth's sake--a "pave over the
> universe" image. PP more clearly focuses on *improvement*. If you have a
> better name for the principle, fire away, but I'm not choosing or rejecting
> principles to be PC. I consider such a suggestion quite annoying. It
> contradicts my entire life.

But I WANT to pilot a Vogon Constructor Ship... ;)

If it were Boundless Development, I could understand the reference to 'paving
over the universe'. With ExI based in California, I can understand how some
would jump quickly on an association with 'Los Angelization', or 'sprawl'. I
personally do not see Boundless Expansion making any sort of a qualitative claim
on how humanity is to expand into the universe.

Then again, who is to say that development *isn't* good? If you goal is merely
to attract a more politically broad spectrum of transhumanists to extropy, I
suppose worry about perceptions of non-Green sentiments would concern you. Heck,
Robert Bradubury doesn't just want to pave over the universe, he wants to take
it apart atom by atom and reconstruct it. The many discussions about megascale
engineering projects do make us universe pavers. The discussion then should be
about what to pave and what to pave, not 'should we pave at all?'.

> I'm always glad to see productive discussion of the Principles, since I'm
> never satisfied with them. I too miss the easiness of the five principles
> of version 2.5 and the smart acronym, but overall think 3.0 is better.

There are some things I am happy to see in 3.0. I would like the presence of
Open Society and Self Direction to delineate some boundary of individual

> However, version 4.0 will somehow simultaneously encapsulate the ideas more
> briefly while laying them out more extensively and clearly. Maybe the only
> way to do this is a multi-level approach, with a short form, then an
> extended form with derivative principles. One challenge is that I see the
> Principles as arising from a network of interconnected ideas, not as a
> hierarchy derived from some ultimate value. I see the principles as more
> like attractors than axioms.

Though those would be nice too...

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