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

Geoff Smith (
Mon, 1 Dec 1997 12:28:25 -0800 (PST)

On Sun, 30 Nov 1997, Max More wrote:

> This move will also mean we can block spam.

This can also be done with a simple automaton that blocks e-mails from
those who are not on the list.

> >Others, who would contribute a lot to the list, may not be interested in
> >joining the extropy institute, either for monetary reasons or because they
> >do not want to incur the wrath of those who would take out their petty
> >frustrations on the members of the extropian movement.(ie. misguided
> >neo-luddites)
> I don't understand this. If there are Luddites out there who want to hunt
> down extropians and transhumanists, they can do that as easily for the
> non-members as for the members. If someone is afraid of a Luddite attack,
> they should stay off all lists, or post anonymously.

I think some extropians should be justifiably disturbed by the rise of
violent luddites. If the unibomber was still active, I would advise you
to be wary of your mail! A copy-cat unibomber can't mail a bomb through
e-mail, so contributing to the list is fine. Maybe if you gave a greater
assurance of privacy in releasing our vital stats from ExI, it would
eliminate this paranoia. (As EvMick said, a little paranoia is a good

> Geoff Smith says:
> >The fact that you have to pay at least $100 dollars to join an institute
> >to participate on a general extropian mailing list reeks of one of those
> >cults where the members are wearing rags, and the leader is driving around
> >in a Mercedes.
> First, it's $95 (less for those with special arrangements), not "at least
> $100", and it's $30 for students. Perhaps you didn't intend it this way,
> Geoff, but the way you put it is sadly reversed. Many ExI members and
> potential members have very well paying jobs. Meanwhile, a number of those
> most active in getting things done work for nothing or for absurdly little.
> I'm embarrassed to admit that instead of driving a Mercedes, I drive an old
> Ford with well over 100,000 miles on it, and until very recently I didn't
> even have that. I live with a large amount of credit card debt thanks to
> working for ExI for extremely little instead of getting "a real job". And I
> am the *only* person who ExI has ever paid any kind of salary to.
> Your comment reminds me of a my very first TV appearance -- in England on
> the morning news in 1987 when I debated a Prof. of Surgery on cryonics. As
> we left the studio, the fellow turned back to me and sneeringly said "I'm
> sure you'll make a lot of money." Knowing how the folks at Alcor had worked
> for years for so little, this cheap shot made me furious.

I apologize for infuriating you, I was definitely not insinuating *you*
were driving a Mercedes. I think everyone here appreciates the work you
have done with little *cash* return; however, I think if I were in your
position, I would be more than satisfied with the things you have received
that have no cash value.(eg. the massive exposure of your ideas, the new
friends and connections you have made, etc..) I don't think being a
capitalist means you can't appreciate those things that cannot be bought.

On the other hand, I do so the need for more money to ExI. I guess I
still hope that you will not get this money by charging to contribute to
this list. I think this list is a wonderful place for newbies to watch
for a while, then throw out a couple of replies and watch the seeds of
their ideas grow into new threads. With a $95 fee, this will become a
rare phenomenon.

In reading your e-mail, a question pops into my head: What is your
motivation for creating the Extropian movement? I highly doubt it is to
make money, there are many easier ways of doing that. I know if it was
me, my motivation would be to create a world that is open to my ideas,
that supports my values... a world that can provide constructive criticism
to my radical philosophical ramblings. I think others may share my view.
Recently, I have been thinking about how I might help the extropian
movement. Whatever this may involve, I would not expect a salary. I
often spend time spreading transhumanist memes (something that seems very
easy in a university), and I do not consider this work at all. It is
exciting that so many people are open to these ideas!

> Kathryn: I wish there were more like you -- transhumanists who actually
> *do* something. Currently you are contributing to the Institute's work by
> acting as an editor for Extropy Online. We will be very happy to work out
> breaks for members who are not rolling in money and who are contributing in
> other ways. You are such a person.

This is a great idea.