Re: Extropian Optimism

E. Shaun Russell (
Sat, 16 Nov 1996 10:58:38 -0800 (PST)

On 16/11/96, David D. wrote:

>My dictionary describes optimism as - Leibniz's doctrine that the world
>is the best of all possible worlds: a belief that everything is ordered
>for the best: a disposition to take a bright, hopeful view of things:

Interesting. My dictionary describes it as: "Inclination to look on
the best side of life or to expect success" something I agree with
whole-heartedly. *Dynamic* optimism means optimism that has force behind
it. As dynamic optimists, extropians tend to try to attain progress rather
than sit back and say "Gee, there will be progress some day." We make our
potential kinetic.

>What role does optimism play in Extropian Philosophy? Is there such a
>thing as too much optimism? What about when optimism turns into blind
>faith, or unreasonable hopes? If this were a *game* and optimism was an
>attribute, how would you value it against other attributes? Would it be
>more valuable or less than diplomacy, charisma, strength or Machivellian

I'm sure lots of people have sent off responses while I am writing
this, but I'll give you a low-down as *I* see it.

There is such thing as too much optimism, but can never be too much
*dynamic* optimism. Optimism on its own can be seen as 'wishful thinking'
but when you add the dynamicism to it, you get wishful *doing*.
As for the 'If this were a game...' question, I believe (and I think a lot
of other extropian types agree) that the sum is greater than the whole of
its parts when it comes to the human mind. One might have little sense of
diplomacy or 'Machiavellian wiliness' but still have a very strong will to
attain progress and the dynamic optimism to see that it *can* be attained.
If you know about Voltaire's classification system, extropians would be
rational optimists. Enough said.

Ingredi Externus!

-E. Shaun Russell

~~~:~~~> E. ternity E. Shaun Russell
:~~> E. xpansion
:~~~> E. xtropy Extropian poet\musician

-"Outward is the only place to go that is not bound"-
From "Verging On A Brink"