Re: When was the last time an extropian post changed your life?

Keith Elis (
Mon, 01 Dec 1997 13:52:51 -0500

Max More wrote:

> As I will explain in a separate message, improving the signal/noise ratio
> is one goal of this change, but it's not the main one. Even if that doesn't
> happen as expected, I think the move is desirable for ExI.

Whether it is a good move for ExI remains to be seen (but I don't imagine, Max,
that you'd consider it if you thought it wasn't. <grin>).

However, I do see this as a smart move allowing only people who have made a pledge
to the Institute to have the right to post freely on an Institute list (which is
set up for the express purpose of fleshing out the Institute's memotype.) One
thing I have noticed in my time here is that discussion occurs on the whole range
of transhuman topics, whether specifically extropian or not. This is not
necessarily a problem, but very little reference is made to the more specific
tenets of extropy (i.e., the principles). If a goal of the list is to "share" some
of the load on Max by promoting the cultivation of new *EXTROPIAN* ideas, the
current setup is failing at that.

BTW, there is a general transhuman list already --

The current discontent over the membership proposal may be a sign that most
people's interest is in the broad transhuman philosophy, and not specifically in
extropianism. Admittedly, I've been putting off a student membership for several
months now. But one thing is becoming clearer to me: whether or not I agree with
everything ExI has stated in the Extropian Principles, there is no other
transhumanist organization as firmly established as ExI, and doing the amount of
work ExI seems to be doing (CM if I'm W -- Aleph?). Even though some aspects of
spontaneous order suggest a broad politic that I'm not ready to accept, I see no
need to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Given that I have no time/motivation to start an organization on my own, a
membership in ExI will accomplish a few things for me.

1. It will give me a concrete hand in the promotion of transhumanism.
2. It will (now) allow me participation in a list that I *already* look forward to
sifting through everyday.
3. It will allow me to debate the Extropian principles with a little more

Purchasing a membership in ExI does not mean:

1. I think ExI is the final word on transhumanism.
2. I am a libertarian, or
3. I will be a member next year.

In short, there is work to be done, and ExI is shouldering a good part of the
load. I think we all need to decide why we don't want to join, and work those
things out for ourselves. Some may think they don't know enough about the
organization. Hey, that's what this list is for. Ask some questions, ask Max. I,
too, am very careful about my affiliations and their impact on my career. There's
nothing wrong with that. But, if you're a transhumanist, and you think that
transhumanism needs to pick up some steam, then a contribution to some
organization seems like a good next step. Some people, like Broderick, are already
doing their share by themselves, and we need more and more people like that, too.
Living in the States, and given that I don't have the expertise to write _The
Spike_ or something similar at this point, I think ExI could use my help.

That's all,


Keith M. Elis
AKA Hagbard (to the initiated)