Re: WIRED 6.01/technocracy R.I.P.
Wed, 31 Dec 1997 16:30:46 -0800 (PST)

On Tue, 30 Dec 1997, Brian D Williams wrote:

> From: asks:
> >it may be useful to talk about them and even engineer their
> >flow here and there to bring about the best results we can manage
> Yes, talk about them, engineer their flow here and there, but not
> as part of a central authority.

Well, certainly. My point is that it isn't only statists who talk about
this kind of engineering, and also that I hope to see extropians talking
more like such engineers than like Postrel does (though I fear we often do
sound a bit like Postrel). What I'm talking about here is *mimetic*
engineering. You know, *rhetoric*. Not State injunctions or anything
like that.

> >Postrel goes on to distinguish what she calls "stasists" from
> >"dynamists", those who shrink from change as opposed to those who
> >seek change, and drawing the ideological battle lines here seems
> >to me to encourage a thoughtlessness in the face of the future
> >that is reckless and hopeless.
> I think you have this wrong, Statis refers to a centralized
> planning authority, versus a decentralized/local knowledge way of
> making decisions. Extropians are by definition dynamists.
This may be. But change as such is an empty sign. If extropians aren't
*more* than just dynamists then they aren't defined as anything at all.
There's more to extropian transhumanism than "Change Is Good." There's
even more to extropianism (I hope) than "God is dead," "Smash the State,"
"Self Reliance," and "TANSTAAFL," but at least that's getting closer.
> Maybe a re-reading is in order?
Re-reading did nothing to allay my irritation. Maybe because I read
between the lines?

Dale Carrico |
University of California at Berkeley, Department of Rhetoric

Freud democratized genius by giving everyone
a creative unconscious. -- Philip Rieff
Everyone I know has a big "but--"! -- Pee Wee Herman