Re: Extropian Principles 3.0: Final (?) version now up

J. Maxwell Legg (
Mon, 26 Oct 1998 10:13:39 +1300

Max More wrote:
> At 03:25 PM 10/24/98 +1300, you wrote:
> >
> >"as with all the links in my bookmarks, I do not necessarily agree with
> >all the sentiments expressed therein. For example in the Extropian
> >Principles 3.0 and The Journal of Transhumanism, the term 'economic
> >growth' relies on capitalism and a price system which to my way of
> >thinking are at odds with a public-AI decentralised data fusion, Survey
> >Society.
> You've lost me here. How does the term "economic growth" rely on any
> particular system? "Economic growth" means no more than an increase in the
> total measurable output of an economy. It does not specify how that economy
> is organized. The current version of the Principles does not even mention
> the price system.

Let me quote how you qualified the use of the term "economic growth".

Robin Hanson's JOT ABSTRACT

"Economic growth is determined by the supply and demand of investment capital; "

Max More EP 3.0

"The market price system encourages conservation, substitution, and innovation, preventing any need for a brake on growth and progress. "

I say: Investment capital and the market price system mean only one thing; - money. Although the market system is analysed as a negative feedback loop, money has been shown to create self re-inforcing positive feedback loops of wealth/poverty vicious circles.

Nigel says:

The global economy and capitalism as we have known it is already in transition.

The industrial mode of development is being transformed by the emergence of a new techno-economic paradigm - brought about by the pervasiveness of effects of the new technologies - heralding a new informational mode of development.

The main distinctive feature that constitutes the information technology paradigm is that information is its raw material. In previous technological revolutions, information simply acted on technology, whereas now, the new technologies act on information. New sources of energy underpinned successive industrial revolutions, just as information is the 'energy source' of the information technology revolution. Information processing enables knowledge to intervene upon knowledge itself in order to generate higher productivity, as with finance capital.

The informational mode of development represents a discontinuity within capitalism - exemplified by the paradigm shift - however, this is a coterminous process that for the moment cannot be disengaged from the continuance of the industrial mode of development that it has transformed.

The emergence of the information technology paradigm can be seen as a continuity within the dynamics of capitalism - as can the coterminous processes of financial capital and globalisation be seen as continuities of capital - but aspects of the new informational mode of development represent discontinuities with industrial capitalism, as organisational aspects show a qualitative shift has occurred in the structure of society itself.

Quantitatively speaking though, the informational mode of development represents an exponential escalation of every dimension. The certain continuity of this exponential escalation will inevitably determine the necessity for the informational mode of development to disengage from capitalism and the straight jacket
of finance capital's price and double-entry bookkeeping systems, heralding a new transactionbased economic system managed by a bevy of global artificial intelligence engines.