Re: Extropian Principles reading list

Max More (
Sun, 12 Oct 1997 18:27:40 -0700

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Keep them coming!

Some responses:

Kathryn: I'll try to take a look at the two you suggest. I believe Natasha
has the Benedikt book. I've been wanting to look at the Fifth Discipline
anyway. Any other especially good books on organizational structures?

Eliezer: Hmmm, Godel, Escher, Bach *is* a superb book. I worked through
that back when I was 18. However, as an overview of AI and cognitive
science, I think that Hofstadter and Dennett's The Mind's I might be more
accessible. (Or maybe I'll just include both, though this is supposed to be
a select rather than comprehensive list.) Comments?

For those who suggested more Egan books, I'll be happy to include more by
one of my favorite SF writers. I'm not so keen on Permutation City, though
may include it. I will definitely include his brilliant collection Axiomatic.

Interesting disagreement over Unbounding the Future. I too found it far
less stimulating than EoC but, as Anders notes, it may be a better intro
for some people. I'll probably leave it in there, but placed after EoC. If
the book list is annotated, I can explain which book to read depending on
what the reader already knows.

Anders: Tech Heaven may be a good cryonics story. Has anyone read Blake's
book (i.e. Gregory Benford) whose title I cannot remember. I'd like to
include *one* cryonics-related novel. I haven't read The Bohr Maker but
will try to. I didn't much like Deception Well and don't see why it fits
particularly well into this reading list. Out of Control is a good addition.

John: I think some of your science book suggestions would be great for an
extended reading list, but may not fit here. For instance, the many worlds
interpretation of quantum mechanics is controversial amongst us (and
doesn't seem a core extropian issue) so if I included that I would have to
include several others from differing views. I'm just reading the Sagan and
agree that it fits nicely in the list. The Martin Gardner will be good as a
critical thinking booster.

Create/Recreate will be included.

Has anyone read Robert Forward's Indistinguisable from Magic? (I believe it
used to be known as Future Magic.) I think it may be a good overview of how
far science and technology can be pushed. Perhaps I'll get to read it on
the plane this week.


Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute:,