[extropy-chat] Conquering the world with a POV wiki (was re: Time Magazine's Person of the Year)

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Wed Dec 27 15:55:12 UTC 2006

At 10:28 PM 12/25/2006, Brent wrote:

>When Jimmy Wales, with the help of Extropians like Lee Crocker and others, 
>created Wikipedia, I was happy to finally see someone getting close – but 
>I recognized instantly that there was going to be terrible “edit wars” and 
>a necessary general rejection of POV with such a system.  And sure enough, 
>despite Jimmy’s claims that “Disputes are characterized in Wikipedia; they 
>are not re-enacted." look at the history of any controversial issue on 
>Wikipedia and you see lots of people wasting enormous amounts of time 
>fighting “edit wars” and re-enacting the same old same old over and over 
>again – just as we all have been doing forever in our meaningless and 
>lonely one sided POV “debates”.

I commented on this several times on this list.

>Many others, like Dirk Bruere, have attempted to organize extropians and 
>transhumanists so that they can accomplish something useful together but 
>have also failed miserably, commenting: “I came to the conclusion long ago 
>that the only thing Transhumanists can agree on is Transhumanism.”  And 
>all this is to say nothing of the painful and destructive tiffs between 
>“extropians” and “transhumanists” and so on ad nausium.  Even on this 
>extropy list, we go over so many issues over and over again, never making 
>any quantifiable progress, so much so that many people leave in 
>frustration.  Traditional Wikis don’t seem to be helping at all do they?

It is ridiculous to force people to agree on diverse topics through one 
signal political viewpoint. It simply will not work.  The problems stemmed 
from a robust socialist overtake of WTA and a robust libertarian centralist 
attempt to speak for ExI. Both were unable to value transhumanism over 
their political stance.

What we keeps pushing for was a more futurist political viewpoint that 
works on solving problems rather than forcing any one political view as the 
flawless means for solving problems. I had hoped that we could stretch our 
imaginations and develop a new political viewpoint based on the tools and 
methods of practicing futurists and develop a political outlook that was 
novel and based on the new technologies that were developed and being 
developed.  We were extropians after all and this is what I had hoped for 
and frankly expected.  But my dream was diminished by hard-nosed political 
dogmatists who would not work with me.  In fact, they did their best to 
smear me and my reputation.

>  And what are we to take from the demoralizing and heart wrenching 
> “Extropy Institute is closing its doors and opening a window for a 
> proactive future.”????  I bet I’m not the only one that has cried a huge 
> bucket of tears over this!

No you are not.  Many of us have cried. :-(

>  This door and window saying obviously comes from the primitive idea that 
> “When God closes a door; some where he opens a window”.  How can any 
> Extropian use such a primitive, the world is getting harder and on its 
> way down, aphorism?   In my POV, when technology closes a door, one 
> should start looking around, because there is a lot more than a hard to 
> get to “window” that is inevitably just opening up.  I don’t know about 
> you, but I see a lot of potential supper powerful turbo rocket sleds and 
> more just coming into view as that door closes.  They are just sitting 
> their waiting for the first group of people that aren’t chained down by 
> their primitive boxed in thinking to recognize them, get on, take off, 
> and make an ever more huge profit while changing the world for the better!

Then take action!

>  I think Extropians and Transhumanists are (or should be) the leaders of 
> society.


>They are the ones way out in front of everything, and definitely not 
>thinking like everyone else.  They recognize the problems with all the 
>herd or “flock” POV.  The problem is, the only way to accomplish anything, 
>and to “lead” everyone is to organize and work together.  Any person alone 
>can’t really accomplish much – though many individual Extropians like Max 
>More, and Raymond Kurzweil
 have made Herculean accomplishments all by 

Tell Max this.  :-]

>  But we can’t all be this great on our own and in the past the only 
> really effective organization structure where people can work together 
> was a simple hierarchy.  And of course in any hierarchy there is only 
> room for one POV – and that is the POV of your superior.  All you can 
> find at the ultimate top is some supposed “God”?  And any Extropian can’t 
> tolerate or function within any such hierarchical structure, as a member 
> of a “flock” or whatever, even if they have the chance of being given 
> ultimate power in the top position.  They turn such down, and rightly so, 
> as they recognize how immoral, secretive, paranoid, and evil any such 
> hierarchical organization is or ultimately becomes right?


>  So, are we Extropians to be left on the sidelines as we scoff at the 
> terrible leaders perched atop of the world’s dominant hierarchical 
> immoral secretive fear mongering organizations as they blindly ridicule 
> technology and lead everyone to hell in a handbasket?


>  I think not.  I believe all that Extropians need is the right kind of 
> tools that bridles differing POV and uses it to justly drive everyone 
> forward in a very powerful way.  The greater the diversity the 
> better!  Leaderless or networked managed organizations definitely aren’t 
> as simple and easy as hierarchical ones – but I think – given the right 
> tools and sophisticated voting, grouping and communicating systems, they 
> will be able to blow hierarchical organizations away and outperform them 
> every time.  And I think the necessary prerequisites to creating such 
> tools are finally in place.  All that is required is the right vision and 
> a little bit of mashing up of things.  So do any of you think we could do 
> this like I do?

Develop a fluid interconnected, immersive network of people who are working 
on projects that are extropic and connect the dots.

>  So there will be sections that read, "While some
>Extropians blah blah blah, others maintain that ...".
> >>>
>Exactly, but how many extropians, and which extropians???  And can anyone 
>really do any kind of justice writing some other’s POV in a “sympathetic” 
>way?  Certainly not with any meaningful and important passion!  And how 
>often does the media (or wiki contributor?) give way to much attention to 
>some obscure and unjust POV and so on
  ad nausium in the name of getting 
>“both sides of the story”?

Not much.  Just who is writing the Wikipedia entries on transhumanism and 
related pages?  Looks like about 4 people control it.  Just look at the 
pseudonyms and the writing styles.

>I’m hoping some of you might be interested enough to help out with some 
>POV wiki development work.  I’m just some quixotic second rate programmer 
>that can’t really do anything on my own.  And I’d sure like to know all of 
>your POV on the power of a wiki that can justly and quantitatively handle 
>all POV and whether or not something like this could indeed turn things 
>around and maybe even “save the world”?

Extropy as a transhumanist philosophy lives on.  It cannot "close its 
doors." Only an edifice can do that and as such cannot deter the continued 
growth of extropy or extropian transhumanists ("ETs").  Only ETs can 
develop the means to continue on growing, innovating and developing.  Maybe 
this is what Max and the rest of us would have liked but didn't want to 
expect it because it seems that too many people want to talk about changed 
but not get their hands dirty.

I had hoped that some of you would have taken the lead and carried parts of 
the planks for a while.  You all have ample opportunity, especially when 
antagonism was so damaging to ExI. But when I saw that we all allowed 
Wikipedia to manipulate transhumanism through the voice of a handful of 
people who are not extropians, it was clear to me that you simply did not 
want to get your hands dirty and expected Max or the reset of us to do it 
for you.

This is precisely why "we" did not want to expect anything from "others."

<http://www.natasha.cc/>Natasha <http://www.natasha.cc/>Vita-More
Design Media Artist - Futurist
PhD Candidate, 
Proactionary Principle Core Group, <http://www.extropy.org/>Extropy 
Member, <http://www.profuturists.com/>Association of Professional Futurists
Founder, <http://www.transhumanist.biz/>Transhumanist Arts & Culture

If you draw a circle in the sand and study only what's inside the circle, 
then that is a closed-system perspective. If you study what is inside the 
circle and everything outside the circle, then that is an open system 
perspective. - Buckminster Fuller

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20061227/f48a50c3/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list