Re: The Extropian Principles

Ben Goertzel (
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 15:21:11 +0800

>The claim of spontaneous order is tha if things repeatedly reorganize
>and compete amongst themselves, the resulting order is likely to
>be "good" in some sense

This is a funny claim, though, isn't it? You are defining large-basined
attractors of social dynamical systems as "good."

To make sense of this statement, you would need to define "good" in
some other way, and then argue that there is in fact some reason why
large-basined attractors of social systems are good.

Otherwise, it doesn't make much sense to me.

>most people born and raised in the US haven't seriously compared
>it to other alternatives

I am an American who has lived in two foreign countries, Australia and
NEw Zealand -- neither one drastically different from the US, but
different in many ways. Certainly, compared to the US, these are bot
h "democratic socialist" countries: you've got "the dole" for that
percentage who don't want to work, you've got national healthcare,
extremely high taxes, etc. The welfare state is just about complete,
although the state does NOT own the means of production.

But, really, so what? We're talking about drastic changes in
technology which are expected to lead to drastic changes in society.
What makes you think that any existing governmental system -- or any
governmental system we have even THOUGHT about -- will still have
meaning in 200 years time.

I believe we need to think much more creatively about this stuff --
myself included. I don't believe in spontaneous order as you have
outlined it, nor do I believe that the governmental systems we have now
are anywhere near a fair statistical sample of the overall space of
such systems.

Some of the attractors of the social dynamical systems are "good", others
may be persistent but bad, like delusional belief systems of individuals.
It is up to us to guide ourselves -- collectively -- toward the better
attractors ... and to decide what we mean by "better"..

ben g