From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 16:25:21 MST

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Nicq MacDonald
> Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 3:51 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: RANT
> > Of course, extropy has been called a cult before, usually by trolls,
> > much like yourself. As there is no particular OTHER reason to call
> > extropianism a cult, (as I'll attempt to show), usually
> they fall back
> > on calling us dogmatists, which, I have to presume, is what you were
> > driving at in your parody of an extropian calling
> deep-ecologists "the
> > DEVIL."
> I wasn't calling it a cult- I was just referring to the attitude many
> extropians have regarding "The Singularity". We're running out of
> resources, destroying our environment- yet you seem to think
> that we'll be
> saved by this occurence. I think otherwise.

Do you think we will be saved by anything else? Do you think switching to
all solar, geothermal, wind and so on will save us? Do you think (SI help
us) that redistributing all the wealth equally will save us? Better tech is
essential to solving most of our resource issues. Better personal and
collective intelligence (largely but not totally via technology) and better
psychology are essential to finding and applying solutions.

Did you ever read Julian Simon? We create new resources using our
intelligence and a (relatively) free market. Given enough technology we can
heal the environment to better than mythological Garden of Eden standards.
But most Greens tend to ignore such inconvenient facts.

> > I think he and I agree that there is not only a non-trivial
> chance of
> > apocalyptic disaster in the next century, (a possibility which
> > everyone became aware of around the time of the cold war,)
> but also a
> > chance of unprecedented wealth, longevity, and, dare I say it,
> > happiness. Neither of these possibilities is inevitable, though I
> > think they're quite likely outcomes of the next century or two.
> By apocalypse, I was not referring to disaster, but to
> rapture. Where is
> all this wealth going to come from, with our resources
> destroyed by the
> wasteful behavior of the 20th century? Where is this
> longevity going to
> come from, with our veins filled with carcinogens and our
> bodies bombarded
> by radiation? Where is this happiness going to come from, with our
> spirituality destroyed by "flatlander" philosophers, our arts
> smashed by a
> media concerned only with profits, living in a world where we
> work from
> sunup until sundown with no hope for another world hereafter?

Wealth comes from where it always does, from applied intelligence. Increase
the intelligence and the efficacy of its application and you increase
wealth. Wealth is not a matter of static resources. Resources themselves
are not static in a fundamental sense. In case you haven't noticed our
lifetimes are increasing already even without the coming nanomedical (and
other) medical advances. Your portrayal of the amount of carcinogens and
pollutants and their effect on human longevity is grossly out-of-date.

Spiritualities, as much as I think of some aspects of some of them, have not
produced very much happiness historically. They have excused and
strengthened many utter atrocities along with what comfort some gained. The
worse flatlanders have been religious throughout western history.

I don't see fine arts being smashed by the media any time soon.

Who needs a world hereafter when this very world we live in (and the near
universe in the bargain) can be turned into as much and more of a paradise
than even most mystics dared dream of? What is you hurry to leave when the
curtain is just beginning to rise?

> > But it is in holding these beliefs *tentatively*, and in
> not allowing
> > our beliefs to be determined by a leader or any other
> person, that we
> > demonstrate our rationality (in particular, our rejection of dogma).
> > We are not cultists or dogmatists of any other kind.
> Rationalism is a dogma in of itself.

That highly dogmatic statement has very little semantic content.
> > I don't know much about Gnosticism. I do know that typical Gnostics
> > have tended to prioritize the "spiritual" realm over the "physical"
> > realm. I rather doubt most extropians would agree with that.
> Yes, but they were working from an ascending paradigm.
> Extropianism is
> Gnosticism reversed, the exact same stand within a descending
> paradigm.

How so? My paradigm and that of many other Extropians is quite ascending.

- samantha

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