Re: VOTE YES !!(agreement): Re: New option: Leave Extropian

S.J. Van Sickle (
Tue, 2 Dec 1997 10:00:27 +0000

Philos Anthropy wrote

Therefore, I suggest that all those who post should be Extropy
Institute (EI) members. I do not believe that basic EI membership
should have a price tag though. Another electronic community that I
am a member of (the HTML Writer's Guild at has
several levels of membership but basic membership is free. In this
way those who have more time (and admittedly a bit of money) can
subscribe to a print copy magazine (sort of like Web Magazine), other
services, get a plaque (ala Public Television) or whatever. A live
chat room for Level 2 members, for example might be set up. An
archive of the most popular threads could be available for Level 3. A
member's Guide (on paper, CD-ROM, or online by access number) is
possible. These things cost money for the owner of the list but
would be paid for by the members who desire such services. It's a
thought worth serious thought.

That's an interesting idea. It would allow Max to say with almost a
straight face that we have "tens of thousands of members world wide".

On the other side, I recall a conversation I had with the editor of
*The Journal of Practical Applications in Space* (I've forgotten her
name). She claimed that she had little success getting colleges and
universities to subscribe until she *increased* the rate for
institutions from the standard ~30 dollars to ~150 dollars. Seems
they didn't believe it was a "serious" journal until then.

I'd also like to point out that there are really two kinds of
membership organizations. One has a popular membership like the
Planetary Society or the old L-5 Society, and the membership fees
are in the neighborhood of $30. The other type is a "professional"
society (though there is no real requirement that you be in the
"profession") like the AIAA or the American Library Association or
the World Futurist Society with fees from generally more than $100
and often several hundred (my wife pays nearly $200 for ALA

The blunt fact is that the Extropy Institute has been a flop as a
popular membership organization. I think there is a lot to be said
for moving towards the professional society model, if for no other
reason than it needs to do something different, since what it was
doing wasn't successful. By posing more as a "serious" (I get the
giggles every time I type that) think tank, policy wonk,
professional society it may be more successful and I think will
definately be taken more seriously by those who are not and never
will be members. Maybe Max can even revive the print Extropy and
have libraries line up to pay $400/year for it!

Just my .02 nanoDirksen worth.