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This post will sound harsh but fair; I think it's the best way to show you
all my appreciation.

I think this community can be percieved negatively because of that "having
visions that are shocking to the social consensus" thing; these visions
being at the fringe of conjectures and actual trends, it can be frustrating
for people who don't want to miss on the evolutionary advantages this tribe
might have yet don't want to bet on duds.
This situation saddens me because I find myself "shot by both sides" :
extropianism and the majority of people are either at best lacking the
historical culture to know these ideas are old hat or at worst voluntarly
omitting this knowledge by sheer vanity.

The visions and methodology of Extropianism hardly makes it a new

Charles Fourier, great historian of the future, philosopher of glorious
musical tomorrows of harmonious bodies, way after civilizations, when the
flesh will be invested of ideal qualities , who was appreciated by Marx and
Engels, was proposing an harmonian revolution.
Here's some traduction of passages from Oeuvre complètes tome VIII and
Bulletin de Lyon, 1804:
"humanity will wake itself to the materialist ameliorations it's body is
suceptible to."
He was forecasting living on other planets since at this point the earth
would be too small.
"New and useful properties gained by earthlings living in these new celestal
countries: amphiby, night vision, perpetual growth of hairs and teeths,
indolorism , whitening to the sun etc"
Forecasting genetic manipulations:
"from their torso a new appendice would grow: used either as a powerful
weapon, to prevent falls, a superb ornament with infinite force and
dexterity. Habitants of suns, lactées and ringed planets like saturn are
amphibious, by the effect of an ouverture in the casing of their heart, and
have a fifth member common to both sex: the archiarm who can kill an animal
in one shot, be used as a whirling parachute, a motor for fake wings, a rope
ladder, a swim-aid that gives man the velocity of a fish and thousand ohter
possibilities either on earth or in the seas. The archiarm triples
productivity of the industry and bring the body at it's ultimate degree of
biological perfection."

(He too, as I said in another post, could be a promoter of impossible
bodies, but that's another story...)

That ought to be enough for the vision part. A bit frivolous and funny but
not much more than saying that in the future our children will be few and
immensely valued, huanity will have to deal with hypermaturity etc.

On the methodological front, I present you Condorcet who concludes his
_Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain_ by
predicting the end of stupidity, hypocrisy and the emergence of a new body
made possible by technological, scientific and medical progress.
Sounds cutting edge? It was written in 1795.
Death is percieved as a hypothesis to be reserved to exceptional cases like
accidents or rare probabilities. The lenght of life, considerably augmented
"get close to for ever (...) an unlimited lenght".
So it is : a body who escaped the laws of nature and entropy ...

Genuine ignorance or vanity, it doesn't matter to me: as a group,
extropians/transhumanists are a bit too eager to misread their predecesor in
order to make room for themselves...
Also, using the structure of an "institute" / "school of philosophy" is a
massive philosophical regression, sad, a system of terror, with the
pretention of making something new but is a king-sized povrety.
I think we have great dreams but extropians don't go at it the right way.
Don't even think of calling Fourier and Condorcet proto extropians, please,
that would be disingenious for the other way around woud be more logical
since they are already accepted in the academic network, humanity's common
cultural heritage and they had more historical influence than their current
poor unsuccessful incarnation: extropianism is just a materialism and
realizing it by droping the usless brand name would be the mature thing to
do for it would help in getting credibility and real life traction to our
common dreams.
Rejoice! You are not an extropian, you are a materialist ! :-)
You are part of a tradition and your ideas are accepted more easily.
Do I think this post will change anything to the established order? I know
people who are branded extropians or transhumanists won't budge, I wrote
this for people who will get interested in these problems of our time, so
they won't needlessly cripple their game.
May our dreams be reality!

Sébastien Chikara

Sébastien Chikara (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 3 August 2003 19:58 (eighteen years ago) link

six years pass...


, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 09:15 (eleven years ago) link

six years pass...


Wes Brodicus, Thursday, 13 April 2017 17:44 (four years ago) link

okay, thanks for the sandbox.

Bobson Dugnutt (ulysses), Thursday, 13 April 2017 20:43 (four years ago) link

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