Re: Are extropians "BUFFs"?

Eric Watt Forste (
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 21:05:45 -0700 (Steve Witham) writes:
>"Bottom-Up" means we see history as good ideas, technologies, opportunities,
>happening locally and spreading. Notice I packed technophilia and
>optimism in there. Also, interest in libertarianism and spontaneous
>order (see my P.S. to Ben below) and memes and such are close by. Also,
>there's a difference from the planning- and statistical-trend- and
>grand-vision-driven sorts of futurism. Another part of being bottom-up
>is seeing oneself as part of the process.
>"Fast Futurist" means someone who sees big change happening so fast that
>the future is personally relevant, as opposed to a place where "future
>generations" will live. We see ourselves in the future.

I like this analysis, and I think it's correct as far as it goes.

But you know, when most people ask for definitions, they want a genus and
differentiator. And the sad fact is that they usually want to be presented
with a genus that they already understand and a differentiator that they
already understand.

Some people like to see extropians as part of the genus "technophile" or
"futurist" or what-have-you, and use the libertarian stuff to differentiate
them. Other people like to see extropians as part of the genus "classical
liberal" or "libertarian" or what-have-you, and then try to come up with
differentia that separate out the conservatives, fundamentalist Christians,

Reformulating things the way Steve Witham has here is great fun and does
help us on the list think more clearly about these things, but "BUFF" is
not going to be a useful explanation of extropians to those who don't
already know for a while yet. We also need to come up with explanations
that don't need to be explained in turn, simple sequences of words that are
readily understandable to the vast majority of speakers of English who
aren't already immersed in this stuff.

But I still loved Steve's post.

Eric Watt Forste <>