[extropy-chat] Extropy, Political Viewpoint and the Futureof ExI's List

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Mon Oct 10 14:20:54 UTC 2005

Max More wrote:

> At 05:33 PM 10/9/2005, Brett wrote:
>>I sometimes wonder if things progress more slowly because folks that
>>have made intellectual contributions in the past are reluctant to make
>>only lesser contributions in the future. For instance I wonder if Max is
>>less willing to right speculative stuff that might be wrong because it
>>might be used against him. I wonder if he's sort of resting on his 
>>with the Extropian Principles because to write something else might be
>>used against him or might work to diminish what he has written.
> What kind of thing do you mean by "speculative stuff" in this context?

I was thinking of stuff on politics mainly. There is one other area that you
seemed to have started to explored, as well, and before I did. What you
have written has sometimes marked off locations of interest that I have
found I was interested in as well. But it was exploratory stuff. One 
is whether or not is it intellectually justified to ever believe anything.

It came up in the context of your saying in a media situation that you tried
not to believe much of anything these days. Thats a rough paraphrasing
not a quote. You've since moved on from that position I notice. You do
assert beliefs now sometimes when you write.  I wonder if you changed
your mind on believing qua believing.

> I'm not terribly interested in writing speculations of the far future, not 
> because I might turn out to be wrong, but because I'm more focused on 
> helping to improve conditions for progress right now.

No I didn't mean that. I just meant I wondered if you might feel that it
was risky to relax a bit and put out a draft early that might be more
speculative and less thoroughly thought through because some minor
point might be used against you. You'd have to spend so much time
ensuring that a misrepresentation wasn't taken for a truth that it would
just be better not to post anything that wasn't checked for its defensibly

Basically, you are a smart poster and your stuff is worth reading but
you don't post much so I figured there had to be a reason why. It
could hardly be that you were not interested in the Exi list. You've
invested too much in the Extropy meme.

> Nor am I particularly worried about turning out to be mistaken. For one 
> thing, I've almost always been quite cautious about making specific 
> predictions, doubting my ability to make accurate off-the-cuff forecasts. 
> If you think I'm so worried about changing my mind, why did I publicly 
> change my mind about politics -- something that has upset some people to a 
> remarkable degree?

I don't think you are worried about changing your mind so much as that
you might have developed a conservative about what you say and where
you say it because you don't want to have to waste time dealing with
silly comments or straw men attacks. I wondered if you thought that you
could not relax on the Exi list and just chew the fat.

Actually I suspect most people that try to write seriously about important
ideas don't try to chew the fat in the same spaces for fear of debasing
their own hard won credibility.

Brett Paatsch 

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