Max More (maxmore@primenet.com)
Fri, 21 Nov 1997 10:43:11 -0800

First of all, let me be clear that the opinions I present in this post are
those of myself only. I am not presenting the view of the Extropy Institute
Board, and I am sure that I am not representing Tom's view. Tom and I tend
to approach these issues somewhat differently. Tom's training being in law,
he sees matters like this primarily from a legal mindset and takes very
seriously his role in protecting ExI's interest in issues involving
trademark and related matters.

In my view, the question of Excedo's name is *not* an issue of trademark
infringement. I'm not entirely sure whether Tom thinks it is a trademark
issue in a legal sense, or only in some moral sense. However, I *do* agree
with Tom's concern, in that I have no doubt that the name "Excedo" *would*
cause some confusion. Those who disagree are overestimating the
intelligence of the media and much of the public. If we were all already
transhuman with intellectual augmentations, no problem! However, another
transhumanist organization with a name begining with "Ex" *will* lead to
some confusion. Having looked at the web site today, I am also concerned
with the prominent arrow that goes from faint to bold in a style very
reminiscent of the fuzzy to sharp images Extropy Institute uses to convey
the idea of growing extropy.

I don't find this issue a big deal. While I definitely do think some
confusion will arise from "Excedo", *most* people will either not be
confused in the first place, or will very soon be enlightened on finding
out more. If we were talking about a Europe-wide organization, or an
America-based organization, it might be a bigger issue for me. It would
also certainly be more of an issue if the name were closer, beginning with
"Ext..." rather than merely the first two letters.

I do find it puzzling and frustrating that a group that explicitly (a) does
not want to be part of Extropy Institute, and (b) does not consider itself
Extropian, nevertheless would choose a name (and an arrow emblem) that will
suggest Extropianism to many people. It seems clear to me that a more
distinctive name would serve both organizations better.

I've happy to see the constructive approach being taken by Berrie and
Arjen. I'm impressed by the offer of a reward for coming up with an
acceptable alternative name. (I do like Daedalus. Or: The Prometheus
Transhuman Society...) That's the spirit. That's such a capitalistic
approach that maybe you guys should reconsider whether or not you are
Extropian. :-)

Certainly Arjen and Berrie's attitude in regard to this issue strikes me as
more enlightened and constructive than that of some others who have posted
here. Some people just love to snipe. Ah well, that's only human.

Again, I cannot speak for how Tom or other Board members will respond if
the Excedo name is used. All I can say is that I would certainly be happier
with a more distinctive name, and would feel more like putting effort into
cooperation and support with the new organization in that case.

The name issue aside, I'm thrilled to see organizational activity starting
up in Europe. Anders and others in Aleph in Sweden have already done quite
a bit, starting with Ander's single-handed Herculean web site, then the
Aleph handbook and meetings. Other previously isolated individuals such as
Eugene Leitl, Sarah Marr, and Nick Bostrom will no doubt become
increasingly connected. The level of transhumanist interest in Europe
clearly is growing at an accelerating pace. In recognition of that, the
forthcoming issue of the ExI members' newsletter, Exponent, carries a
feature on European Extropians.

Finally, Arjen, I was not claiming that Extropianism is well known in
Europe. Of course it is not. However, saying that probably not even a
hundred have heard of it was so far off the mark, largely due to work I've
done, that I had to correct that idea. I wouldn't even say that it's well
known in the States, despite nine years of work and numerous media
appearances. Even cryonics, after 25 years, is only just beginning to
penetrate the awareness of a significant fraction of the population. The
more of us there are spreading the ideas, the better. Let's just be careful
to help put a spring in each others' step, not step on each others' toes!



Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute: exi-info@extropy.org, http://www.extropy.org