The Extropian Principles

Lyle Burkhead (
Sat, 27 Jul 1996 00:15:07 -0500 (EST)

Max More begins The Extropian Principles as follows:

> EXTROPY -- A measure of intelligence, information, energy, vitality,
> experience, diversity, opportunity, and growth.

Measure? in what units? Does this definition really say anything?

> EXTROPIANISM -- The philosophy that seeks to increase extropy.

Assume you can measure all these things; why are we supposed to want
to increase them? I can understand increasing intelligence, vitality, and
opportunity, but some of the others are problematic. Why should we
seek to increase experience per se, no matter what kind of experience
it is? Do you really want to increase diversity? Does this mean you
oppose the homogenization of cultures? I suppose "energy" refers to
energy available for use in the economy, and "growth" refers to
economic growth. Do you want to increase these, no matter what?
Why is this axiomatic?

Consider the expression "The philosophy that seeks to... "

Does this mean that your metaphysics, your ontology, your logic, your
philosophy of mind, your ethics, and your aesthetics will be determined
by the need to increase the eight quantities that must be increased?

Marx said "The point is not to understand the world, but to change it."
This puts the cart before the horse. The correct procedure is as follows:
First one uses philosophy to ascertain the nature of the world; *then*
one decides what should or should not be done.