[ExI] ben franklin was an early extropian

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Thu Oct 11 14:11:23 UTC 2012

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 9:30 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> ** **
> I saw this on a cryonics list and decided to post it here.  I know Kennita
> (delightful young lady) and I am confident she would be OK with my quoting
> her quoting Franklin.  Truly, Ben Franklin was born waaaay too soon, but we
> needed him back there too.****
> ** **
> Benjamin Franklin writing to the Unitarian scientist Joseph Priestley in
> 1780:****
> *“The rapid progress true science now makes occasions my regretting
> sometimes that I was born too soon. It is impossible to imagine the height
> to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter.
> We may, perhaps, deprive large masses of their gravity, and give them
> absolute levity, for the sake of easy transport. Agriculture may diminish
> its labor and double its produce: all diseases may by sure means be
> prevented or cured (not excepting even that of old age,) and our lives
> lengthened at pleasure, even beyond the antediluvian standard. Oh that
> moral science were in as fair a way of improvement, that men would cease to
> be wolves to one another, and that human beings would at length learn what
> they now improperly call humanity.”*

That's not the only tome he expressed a wish to see the future.

Benjamin Franklin in a letter to Jacques Dubourg, April 1773:

"I wish it were possible... to invent a method of embalming drowned
persons, in such a manner that they might be recalled to life at any
period, however distant; for having a very ardent desire to see and observe
the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to an ordinary
death, being immersed with a few friends in a cask of Madeira, until that
time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country!
But... in all probability, we live in a century too little advanced, and
too near the infancy of science, to see such an art brought in our time to
its perfection.

  John K Clark
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