Re: Extropians > 40

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 29 Dec 1998 12:19:09 -0600

Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko wrote:
> So what are the issues typical for a maturing extropian?
> How do you define maturity? Do you get more serious or more playful
> with years? More independent or more social? More determined or
> more relaxed? Weaker or stronger?

I hope you don't find this depressing (despair should be left to experts), but I'm 19 right now and I've never managed to top the insights I had at age 16. It may simply be that I was under far more stress at that time and that my current level of despair isn't powerful enough to produce that kind of output, despite my halting efforts to focus and harvest it deliberately. Or I may have reached a Hansonian bottleneck. Or I could have just lost key neurons to the aging process. At any rate, it takes considerably longer for me to work through a paradox or develop a new mental discipline, months or years instead of weeks.

On the other hand, the stuff I figured out at age 16 - "Algernon's Law", for example - is probably enough to reach the Singularity, so perhaps I shouldn't complain.

I have hopes that I'll be able to repair any problems and far surpass myself during the Age of the Neurohackers, which should start in a few years for early adopters and about 10 years for everyone else. Of course it may take considerably longer if I get hit by a truck. (David Pearce is arguably already the First Neurohacker in an age that started with Prozac, but as a Singularitarian (and the Second Neurohacker) I should prefer to start counting from the time of intelligence enhancement and localized alteration of specific brain areas.)

--         Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.