[ExI] Is the ExI email list slowly dying out? And if so, what can be done to reverse such an outcome?

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Sun Oct 18 18:13:46 UTC 2020

On Sun, Oct 18, 2020 at 3:40 PM Tristan Linck via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> As far as a recruiting drive, there are enough people out there still using
> email lists that we could get fresh eyes in here. I suppose the question
> is what this list has to offer to keep people here. If I want to hear about
> communists infiltrating the government, or hospitals defrauding the
> government by inflating covid deaths, or predatory men claiming to be
> women to get into restrooms, and the like (but nothing directed at the
> right, that's politics and belongs on the other list), there are unnumbered
> multitudes of places to get that.

Thanks for bringing this up. I've been aghast at the treatment of
gender issues here in particular, especially given that Extropianism
is supposed to be about improving the human condition. To me, that
would mean not embracing reactionary attitudes toward non-binary
people. In fact, it should be seeing how technology and science can
make all of us more flexible and open to experimentation -- even in
social and gender roles.

This would apply to social systems as well. But I get the feeling most
here seem to think the best social system ever was invented
generations ago and should never be tampered with. (Not that an
Extropian discussion list must focus on socio-political stuff, but
when it does touch on these, I would want it to be less about some
imagined threat of communism* and more about how to improve society.)

> When I joined I didn't really know anything,
> to contribute to the discussions, but they were exciting and made we want
> to get more involved. I dropped off for a while due to unrelated things going
> on. I come back and it's this cycle where I want to get more involved, then
> the discussion veers back into the same material I hear every day from my
> neighbors and co-workers and I check out again for a few weeks.

I'd be afraid of people coming here and assuming Extropianism was just
social conservatism, right wing politics, and some AI and tech stuff
thrown in.

> That was too verbose, but the crux is that we can get new people in, but
> when it comes to retention, what do we have to offer them that it's worth
> sticking around? On the other hand, this is a data set of one, so I could be
> entirely wrong! I am a cockeyed optimist, or I would have followed Anders
> Sandberg out the door, but here we are, and I do want to see the list
> succeed and a little more information will probably do more harm than good.

To me, Anders leaving was the greatest loss the list has suffered.


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* I also would want people to be clear what they mean here by these
terms. As I've argued before, the identification of communism with
tankies or with Marxist-Leninism and Maoism is a big problem. This is
similar to people thinking Rand Paul typifies libertarianism -- to put
it in terms many here might grasp.

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