The Joys of Flesh (was: The Poor Masses)

Max More (
Wed, 4 Sep 1996 10:15:51 -0700 (MST)

At 09:42 AM 9/4/96 -0500, wrote:
>As for uploading and becoming von neuman machines.
>Honestly, am I the only extropian who likes the flesh?
>Maybe I should form a faction of tech fiends who are
>sleazy enough to appreciate the aesthetics and primal joy
>of a fit sweaty body. Maybe I'm just an immortalist who
>thinks the whole universe should be our domain. I guess I
>wouldn't mind being able to have alternate _identities_ of
>man, machine, cyborg, virtual entity--but I certainly don't
>want to be constrained to one. [snip].
>Anyone else out there feel remotely the same?

This issue came up when I was debating Paulina Boorsook on the BrainTennis
forum of HotWired. She was under the impression that all Extropians dislike,
hate, fear, or feel uncomfortable in their physical bodies, and that we're
all hell bent on dumping them. This may be true for some, but I know enough
Extropians to know it's not generally true.

I agree with you, Tim, in that I want a *choice* of bodies, physical and
virtual. I take great pleasure in my current physical body and spend
considerable time and energy to keep it in condition. Like any Extropian, I
want to add to my body's abilities and to be able to modify its responses
according to my will rather than leaving its responses and capacities
primarily an accident of my genes. Eventually, assuming I make it to that
time, I expect to see this body--or whatever it has become--as only one
among a choice of physical vehicles.

Tim, your comment suggests you think you might be the only one who
appreciates the way of flesh among Extropians. That's certainly not true. I
know many of us who love working out, having sex, hiking, surfing, skiing,
swimming, etc. I think it's a big mistake to give the impression to the
public that Extropians reject the physical body. Maybe a few seek to live as
utterly disembodied thinkers, but most of us want to enjoy all the means of
being in contact with reality, including physical sensations and perceptions.

Max More, Ph.D.
President Extropy Institute (ExI)
Editor Extropy