This compilation of definitions first appeared almost ten years ago, and
had it's last real update back in 1994. It's about time we updated it!
The updated version will be linked from ExI's new FAQ, as well as providing
a useful reference linked from elsewhere on the site.
I've done a quick edit, removing a few terms that never caught on and
didn't seem particularly useful. I *know* that there are a whole bunch of
other terms and their definitions that should be included. I haven't even
tried to add the obvious ones (such as "extropic art", "singularitarian", etc.)
YOUR SUGGESTED TERMS AND DEFINITIONS PLEASE!
Compiled by Max More (v.3: 12/23/01)
[Most of these neologisms originally appeared in Extropy.]
ADHOCRACY: A non-bureaucratic networked organization. "This form is already
common in organizations such as law firms, consulting companies and
research universities. Such organizations and institutions must continually
readjust to a changing array of projects, each requiring somewhat different
combinations of skills and other resources. These organizations depend on
many rapidly shifting project teams and much lateral communication among
these relatively autonomous, entrepreneurial groups." [Scientific American,
Sept. 1991, p.133. Alvin Toffler, Future Shock, 1970]
A-LIFE: Artificial life: The modeling of complex, life-like behavior in
computer programs. A-Life forms can evolve and produce behaviors not
contained within rules set by the programmers.
AMORTALIST: A person who opposes death.
ARCH-ANARCHY: The view that we should seek to void all limits on our
freedom, including those imposed by the laws of nature. [T.O. Morrow, 1990]
ATHANASIA: The act of preventing death. [W.T. Quick, 1988]
ATHANOPHY: A philosophical system that offers a possible means of
overcoming death scientifically. [Michael Perry, 1991]
AUGMENT: A person whose physical or cognitive abilities have been
technologically expanded beyond the range of natural humans. [David Brin,
BIOLOGICAL FUNDAMENTALISM: A new conservatism that resists asexual
reproduction, genetic engineering, altering the human anatomy, overcoming
death. A resistance to the evolution from the human to the posthuman. [FM-2030]
BIOSTASIS: Broader than "cryonic suspension"; suspension of all biological
activity, by infusing the patient with cryoprotective chemicals and
freezing or vitrifying (cryonic suspension), or by chemically bonding
cellular components in place. [K. Eric Drexler, 1986]
BOGOSITY FILTER: A mechanism for detecting bogus ideas and propositions.
BROADCATCHING: "Catching television and other media selectively so that the
sum of the collected parts is personalized." (Quote by Nicholas P.
Negroponte, Scientific American, September 1991, p.112.) [Coined by Stewart
Brand, The Media Lab, 1987.]
CHRONONAUTS: Those who travel through time, either by biostasis or through
possible loopholes in physical laws as currently understood.
CONNECTIONISM: n. The approach to cognitive science that gives a
fundamental explanatory role to neuron-like interconnections rather than to
formal or explicit rules of thought.
CRYP: Cryptographic currency, digital cash. Payment by electronic means
where the seller is guaranteed payment, but the buyer can remain anonymous.
[Eli Brandt, 11/11/92, on the Extropians E-mail List]
CYBERFICTION: Science fiction embodying the technological ideas of
cyberpunk, without necessarily embodying cyberpunk's amoralism or nihilism.
[Max More, May 1991]
CYBERNATE/CYBERNIZE: To automate a process using computers and robots.
CYBERSPACE/CYBERMATRIX: The informational and computational space existing
in and between computers.
CYBRARIAN: Computer Net-oriented information specialist. [Jean Armour
CYPHERPUNK: One interested in the uses of encryption using electronic
cyphers for enhancing personal privacy and guarding against tyranny by
centralized, authoritarian power structures, especially government.
DEANIMALIZE: Replace our animal organs and body parts with durable,
pain-free non-flesh prostheses. [FM-2030]
DEATHISM: The set of beliefs and attitudes which glorifies or accepts death
and rejects or despises immortality.
DEEP ANARCHY: The view that "the State" has no real existence; states can
be abolished only by changing beliefs and behavior. [Max More, 1989]
DEFLESH: To replace flesh with non-flesh. [FM-2030]
DISASTERBATION: Idly fantasizing about possible catastrophes (ecological
collapse, full-blown totalitarianism) without considering their likelihood
or considering their possible solutions and preventions. [David Krieger, 1993]
ECTOGENESIS: In vitro reproduction; synthetic wombs.
EPHEMERALISTS: Persons who reject immortalist technology and values (the
result of deathist thinking). [MM, 1990, from "Ephemeral", Robert A.
EUPSYCHIA: A society specifically designed for improving the
self-fulfillment and psychological health of all people. A culture or
sub-culture made up of psychologically healthy or mature or
self-actualizing people. A Eupsychian sub-culture is "decentralized,
voluntary yet coordinated, productive, and with a powerful and effective
code of ethics (which works)." (Maslow.) [Abraham Maslow, 1954]
EVOLUTURE: An organism produced through evolution; the antonym of creature.
(semi-serious) [Mark Plus, June 1991]
EXTRANET: The emerging communications and computation network including the
Internet as well as mobile wireless devices, telematic devices, private
networks, and billions of embedded chips with wireless connections. [Max
More, November 2001]
EXTROPIA: A conception of evolving communities embodying values of
Boundless Expansion, Self-Transformation, Dynamic Optimism, Intelligent
Technology, and Spontaneous Order. May be instantiated in virtual cultural
communities such as those on the Net, or in future actual communities such
as Extropolis or Free Oceana. [T.O. Morrow, 1991]
EXTROPIAN: One who seeks to overcome human limits, live indefinitely long,
become more intelligence, and more self-creating. A transhumanist who
affirms the values and attitudes codified and expressed in The Extropian
Principles. [Max More, 1988]
EXTROPIATE: Any drug that has extropic effects, including all cognition
enhancing and life extending drugs. [David Krieger, December 1991]
EXTROPIC: Any action or process that promotes extropy.
EXTROPOLIS: A proposed Extropian community located in our solar system,
possiblly at L-4 or L-5 orbits, or the Asteroid Belt. (Later extended to
possible communities in virtual space.) [Max More, 1991]
EXTROPY: A measure of intelligence, information, energy, life, experience,
diversity, opportunity, and growth. The collection of forces which oppose
entropy. [T.O. Morrow, 1988]
FUTURE SHOCK: "A sense of shock felt by those who were not paying
attention." [Michael Flynn, ANALOG, Jan 1990. Coined by Alvin Toffler, 1970]
HUBRIS: A collection of Extropians, as in "A school of fish, a hubris of
HYPERTEXT: Massively interconnected database providing the ability to track
information in all directions, notify you of updated information, etc. [Ted
IMP: Electronic implant, especially in the brain. [Ron Hale Evans]
INACTIVATE: Non-living but not dead (in the latter's permanent sense). A
person in biostasis, or one subsisting in data storage, awaiting
downloading. [Max More, 1989]
INFOMORPH: A uploaded intelligence, or information entity, which resides in
a computer. See Charles Platt, The Silicon Man, p.109. 
KNOWBOTS: Knowledge robots, first developed Vinton G. Cref and Robert E.
Kahn for National Research Initiatives. Knowbots are programmed by users to
scan networks for various kinds of related information, regardless of the
language or form in which it expressed. "Knowbots support parallel
computations at different sites. They communicate with one another, and
with various servers in the network and with users." [Scientific American,
September 1991, p.74.]
MEME: Self-reproducing idea or other information pattern which is
propagated in ways similar to that of a gene. [Richard Dawkins, 1976]
MEMETICS: The study of memes. [Douglas R. Hofstadter]
MEMOTYPE: 1. The actual information-content of a meme, as distinct from its
sociotype. 2. A class of similar memes. (Glenn M. Grant)
MEMOID (or MEMEOID): True believer in a meme and willing to die for it.
[Keith Henson, 1985]
MORPHOLOGICAL FREEDOM: The ability to alter bodily form at will through
technologies such as surgery, genetic engineering, nanotechnology,
uploading. [Max More, April 1992]
(MOLECULAR) NANOTECHNOLOGY: The technology of precisely-constructed
molecular-scale machines; from nanometer: a billionth of a meter. [K. Eric
NEG: Someone who typically complains, moans, and whines, Someone practicing
the opposite of dynamic optimism.
NEOPHILE: One who welcomes the future and who enjoys change and evolution.
NEOPHOBE: One who fears change and wants to abort technological and social
NEUROCOMPUTATION: The study of how natural and artificial neural networks
NEURONAUT: A person who explores their own neural functioning and internal
mentational processes by various means, including deep introspection and
meditation, psychoactive drugs, mind machines, and neuroscientific
NEUROPROSTHESIS: Implanted cybernetic brain augmentation.
NOOTROPIC: A cognition-enhancing drug that has no significant side-effects.
(cf. EXTROPIATE) [C. Giurgea]
OPTIMAL PERSONA: An imagined model of the ideal person we want to become.
The Optimal Persona is the ideal self, the higher (and continually
developing) individual much like Nietzsche's conception of the Ubermensch
but applied to the individual. [Max More, 1993; same name but different
conception from that used by Bruce Sterling in Islands in the Net]
PARTIAL: A computer simulation of part of a person's personality, created
in order to carry out a task not requiring the entire person. [Greg Bear,
PARTIALATE: A partial personality used as a personality surrogate. [Max
More, July 1991. See Cryonics, November 1991]
PERICOMPUTER: Any small portable device such as a laptop computer or PDA
(personal digital assistant). [Lawrence G. Tesler]
POSTHUMAN: Persons of unprecedented physical, intellectual, and
psychological capacity, self-programming, self-constituting, potentially
immortal, unlimited individuals. [Term: FM-2030 Def.: Max More]
POWERSHIFT: A transfer of power involving a change in the nature of power,
from violence to wealth, or from wealth to knowlege. Alvin Toffler, in
RIF: A Rifkinite, or supporter of Jeremy Rifkin and his anti-genetic
engineering, anti-nanotech crusade; against any and all research or
implementation in these areas. [Glenn Grant, 1990]
SCHEME: A meme-complex. (Douglas Hofstadter)
SINGULARITY: The postulated point or short period in our future when our
self-guided evolutionary development accelerates enormously (powered by
nanotech, neuroscience, AI, and perhaps uploading) so that nothing beyond
that time can reliably be conceived. [Vernor Vinge, 1986]
SOCIOTYPE: 1. The social expression of a memotype, as the body of an
organism is the physical expression (phenotype) of the gene (genotype).
Hence, the Protestant Church is one sociotype of the Bible's memotype. 2. A
class of similar social organizations. (Glenn M. Grant)
SMART-FACED: The condition resulting from social use of cognition-enhancing
drugs: "Let's get smart-faced." [Russell E. Whitaker, December 1991]
TAZ/Temporary Autonomous Zone: A mobile or transient location free of
economic and social interference by the state. [Hakim Bey]
TRANSBIOMORPHOSIS (TRANSBIOLOGICAL METAMORPHOSIS): The transformation of
the human body from a natural, biological organism into a superior,
consciously designed vehicle of personality. [Max More, August 1991]
TRANSCLUSION: A thing existing in more than one place at once; virtual
copying of information used in hypertext systems, such as Xanadu. [Ted
Nelson, Byte, September 1990]
TRANSHUMAN: Someone actively preparing for becoming posthuman. Someone who
is informed enough to see radical future possibilities and plans ahead for
them, and who takes every current option for self-enhancement. [Term:
FM-2030 Def.: Max More]
TRANSHUMANISM: Philosophies of life (such as the Extropian philosophy) that
seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life
beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science
and technology, guided by life-promoting values. [Max More], 1990
UBIQUITOUS COMPUTING: Also known as "embodied virtuality". Computers that
are an integral, invisible part of people's lives. In some ways the
opposite of virtual reality, in which the user is absorbed into the
computational world. With ubiquitous computing, computers take into account
the human world rather than requiring humans to enter into the computer's
methods of working. [See Mark Weiser, "The Computer for the 21st Century".
Scientific American Sept. 1991]
UNIVERSAL IMMORTALISM: The view that the problem of death can be solved in
its entirety (including bringing back those "dead" who were not placed into
biostasis) through a rational, scientific approach. [R. Michael Perry, 1990]
UPLOADING: The transfer of a personality (memories, knowledge, values,
desires, etc.) from the biological human brain to a suitable synthetic
computing device in order to allow easier upgrading of intelligence,
self-modification, and backup of the self in case of accident.
VENTURISM: An immortalist transhumanism founded on the principles (1) to do
what is right, understood as implying the benefiting of intelligent life
and the reduction or elimination of abuses to the same; and (2) the
advocacy and promotion of the worldwide conquest of death through
technological means. [David Pizer, 1986]
VIRTUAL COMMUNITY: A community of persons not located in close physical
proximity but forming a cultural community across computer networks.
VIRTUAL RIGHTS: Rights given for convenience to a partial; these rights are
really rights of the person whose partial it is, rather than of the partial
itself. Similar in some respects to currently existing corporate rights.
[Max More, July 1991; See Cryonics, November 1991]
VITOLOGY: The study of any life-like system, including biology and
artificial life. [Max More, December 1991]
XENOEVOLUTURE: An evoluture from a planet other than Earth. [Jay Prime
Positive, December 1991]
Max More, Ph.D.
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
President, Extropy Institute. http://www.extropy.org <email@example.com>
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