French culture and extropianism (was Re: Hello)

From: Jacques Du Pasquier (
Date: Tue Nov 13 2001 - 05:12:53 MST

Spike Jones wrote (12.11.2001/19:42) :
> Welcome to the list Jacques. I always wondered why
> extropians attracted so few French. {8^D spike

Thanks !

Regarding the French and Extropianism, I will suggest two reasons
linked to the culture here.

First, France was very much shocked by 39-45, and nazi occupation. In
the present moral confusion, typical of democracies, anti-nazism has
become about the only firm moral value. Transhumanism seems just too
close, conceptually, to no shock most of the people. In fact, even
Darwin is somehow ignored in France, partly for this reason. FOrget
about talking about "socio-biology" => you are a fascist.

Second : Of course France has a wonderful intellectual tradition, with
free thinkers like Sade, Diderot, Voltaire, etc. Nietzsche himself was
in love with, and very inspired by French culture. But in the 20th
century, it turned into something weird, and intellectuals sort of
lose their common sense in the way. They are so obsessed at being
smarter, that they systematically neglect the obvious to focus only on
the paradoxal (which may of course be interesting, sometimes). They
seek novelty more than truth. They confuse art with thought.

As to myself, I live in France (a country and a culture wich I love
and consider mine, among others), but was intellectually educated in
Geneva, which is culturally half-way between France and the
anglo-saxon tradition. My thesis professor for example was educated in

I have a very strong link to France because I have a very strong link
to my mother tongue (French), because I have a very strong and special
link to an art called literature. But as far as thought and science is
concerned, I appreciate the anglo-saxon tradition. (I was also raised
as a protestant, while most French are catholic, that may also explain
some of it.)


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