Society of the Mind - by Eric L. Harry

David Musick (
Fri, 9 Aug 96 06:35:22 UT

I just read a great book, with a lot of Extropian thought in it. Society of
the Mind, by Eric L. Harry. It's a good introduction to a lot of Extropian
ideas, because one of the characters is being introduced to the ideas very
quickly -- virtual reality, human-level AI, genetic algorithims, memetics and
so forth. The quality of writing is excellent.

I'm wondering if anyone's heard of Eric Harry before. Is he a member of the
Extropy Institute?

It's kind of wierd... I was at the library, not even intending to borrow any
fiction books, and as I rode up the escalator, I glanced at the large display
of new fiction books, and I immediately saw the book (from about twenty meters
away) and had a strong urge to check it out. So after I was done getting the
other stuff I wanted, I went over and took a look at it. The description on
the dust jacket made it sound kind of interesting, so I borrowed the book.
When I got home I started reading it, and after about twenty pages or so, I
was thinking "Oh, my God! This is the stuff I've been thinking about for the
past while, and here it is, in a book." It was just kind of wierd that I felt
such an attraction to it and it matched my thoughts so well. I have these
types of experiences all the time, where I just feel strongly attracted to
something, and it turns out to be exactly what I'm looking for; like I'm
thinking about something, and it helps me clarify my thoughts and develop them
further. Generally, I'm attracted to books and things which were created by
people who think similarly to myself, and I'm attracted even before I really
know anything about the book. I just see it, and whammo! I want it, and it
turns out to be just what I need. Do you guys have these type of experiences?
I don't even have the metaphysical framework to understand how these things
Although I guess there's the idea that I'm living in a virtual reality world
and the computer's kind of directing me to what I'm looking for. But I don't
really have any compelling evidence to support that idea, beyond the
experiences I indicated.
Well, there's also the idea that people's minds are connected in subtle ways,
like telepathy, and that we form some sort of collective thought space, and so
of course I would recognize these books and be attracted to them, because I'm
tuned in more to like-minded people, who've written the books and who've read
the books, so I recognize them because like-minded people also recognize them.
I don't know. What do you guys think?

David Musick