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Principles of Extropy
Version 3.11 © 2003
An evolving framework of values and
for continuously improving the human condition
Max More, Ph.D.
Chairman, Extropy Institute
"Philosophies of life rooted in
centuries-old traditions contain much wisdom concerning personal,
organizational, and social living. Many of us also find shortcomings in
those traditions. How could they not reach some mistaken conclusions
when they arose in pre-scientific times? At the same time, ancient
philosophies of life have little or nothing to say about fundamental issues
confronting us as advanced technologies begin to enable us to change our
identity as individuals and as humans and as economic, cultural, and
political forces change global relationships."
— Max More
Prologue: What is the Purpose of the Principles of
The Principles of Extropy first took shape in the late
1980s to outline an alternative lens through which to view the emerging
and unprecedented opportunities, challenges, and dangers. The goal was –
and is – to use current scientific understanding along with critical and
creative thinking to define a small set of principles or values that could
help make sense of the confusing but potentially liberating and
existentially enriching capabilities opening up to humanity.
The Principles of Extropy do not specify particular
beliefs, technologies, or policies. The Principles do not pretend to be a
complete philosophy of life. The world does not need another totalistic
dogma. The Principles of Extropy do consist of a handful of
principles (or values or perspectives) that codify proactive,
life-affirming and life-promoting ideals. Individuals who cannot
comfortably adopt traditional value systems often find the Principles of
Extropy useful as postulates to guide, inspire, and generate innovative
thinking about existing and emerging fundamental personal, organizational,
and social issues.
The Principles are intended to be enduring, underlying
ideals and standards. At the same time, both in content and by being
revised, the Principles do not claim to be eternal truths or certain
truths. I invite other independent thinkers who share the agenda of acting
as change agents for fostering better futures to consider the Principles
of Extropy as an evolving framework of attitudes, values, and standards
– and as a shared vocabulary – to make sense of our unconventional,
secular, and life-promoting responses to the changing human condition. I
also invite feedback to further refine these Principles.
The Principles of
Extropy means seeking more intelligence, wisdom, and
effectiveness, an open-ended lifespan, and the removal of political,
cultural, biological, and psychological limits to continuing development.
Perpetually overcoming constraints on our progress and possibilities as
individuals, as organizations, and as a species. Growing in healthy
directions without bound.
Extropy means affirming continual ethical,
intellectual, and physical self-improvement, through critical and creative
thinking, perpetual learning, personal responsibility, proactivity, and
experimentation. Using technology — in the widest sense to seek
physiological and neurological augmentation along with emotional and
Extropy means fueling action with positive expectations
– individuals and organizations being tirelessly proactive. Adopting a
rational, action-based optimism or "proaction", in place of
both blind faith and stagnant pessimism.
Extropy means designing and managing technologies not
as ends in themselves but as effective means for improving life. Applying
science and technology creatively and courageously to transcend
"natural" but harmful, confining qualities derived from our
biological heritage, culture, and environment.
Society - information and democracy
Extropy means supporting social orders that foster
freedom of communication, freedom of action, experimentation, innovation,
questioning, and learning. Opposing authoritarian social control and
unnecessary hierarchy and favoring the rule of law and decentralization of
power and responsibility. Preferring bargaining over battling, exchange
over extortion, and communication over compulsion. Openness to improvement
rather than a static utopia. Extropia ("ever-receding stretch goals
for society") over utopia ("no place").
Extropy means valuing independent thinking, individual
freedom, personal responsibility, self-direction, self-respect, and a
parallel respect for others.
Extropy means favoring reason over blind faith and
questioning over dogma. It means understanding, experimenting, learning,
challenging, and innovating rather than clinging to beliefs.
The Principles of
Pursuing extropy means seeking continual improvement in
ourselves, our cultures, and our environments. Perpetual progress involves
improving ourselves physically, intellectually, and psychologically. It
means valuing the perpetual pursuit of knowledge and understanding.
Perpetual progress calls for us to question traditional assertions that we
should leave human nature fundamentally unchanged in order to conform to
"God’s will" or to what is considered "natural".
Achieving deep and sustained progress leads us to consider fundamental
alterations in human nature. This pursuit of betterment stimulates
questioning of the traditional, biological, genetic, and intellectual
constraints on our progress and possibility.
Extropy recognizes the unique conceptual abilities of
our species, and our opportunity to advance nature’s evolution to new
peaks. Humans as we currently exist can be seen as a transitional stage
between our animal heritage and our posthuman future. On the early Earth,
mindless matter combined so as to form the first self-replicating
molecules and life began. Nature’s evolutionary processes generated
increasingly complex organisms with ever-more intelligent brains. The
direct chemical responses of single-celled creatures led to the emergence
of sensation and perception, allowing more subtle and responsive
behaviors. Finally, with the development of the neocortex, conscious
learning and experimentation became possible.
With the advent of the conceptual awareness of
humankind, the rate of advancement sharply accelerated as we applied
intelligence, technology, and the scientific method to our condition.
Upholding perpetual progress means sustaining and quickening this
evolutionary process, overcoming human biological and psychological
Valuing perpetual progress is incompatible with
acquiescing in the undesirable aspects of the human condition. Continuing
improvements means challenging natural and traditional limitations on
human possibilities. Science and technology are essential to eradicate
constraints on lifespan, intelligence, personal vitality, and freedom. It
is absurd to meekly accept "natural" limits to our life spans.
Life is likely to move beyond the confines of the Earth — the cradle of
biological intelligence — to inhabit the cosmos.
Continual improvement will involve economic growth. We
can continue to find resources to enable growth, and we can combine
mindful growth with environmental quality. This means affirming a
rational, non-coercive environmentalism aimed at sustaining and enhancing
the conditions for flourishing. Individuals enjoying vastly extended life
spans and greater wealth will be better positioned to intelligently manage
resources and environment. An effective economic system encourages
conservation, substitution, and innovation, preventing any need for a
brake on growth and progress. Migration into space will immensely enlarge
the energy and resources accessible to civilization. Extended life spans
may foster wisdom and foresight, while restraining recklessness and
profligacy. We can pursue continued individual and social improvement
carefully and intelligently.
Embodying this principle implies valuing perpetual
learning and exploration as individuals, and encouraging our cultures to
experiment and evolve. Valuing perpetual progress entails neither
universal conservatism nor radicalism: it entails conserving what works
for as long as it works and altering that which can be improved. In
searching for continual improvement we must steer carefully between
complacency and recklessness.
No mysteries are sacrosanct, no limits unquestionable;
the unknown will yield to the ingenious mind. The practice of progress
challenges us to understand the universe, not to cower before mystery. It
invites us to learn and grow and enjoy our lives ever more.
Extropy focuses on self-improvement physically,
intellectually, psychologically, and ethically. Self-transformation
involving becoming better than we are, while affirming our current worth.
Perpetual self-improvement requires us to continually re-examine our
lives. Self-esteem in the present cannot mean self-satisfaction, since a
probing mind can always envisage a better self in the future. In pursing
transformation we are committed to deepening our wisdom, honing our
rationality, and augmenting our physical, intellectual, and emotional
qualities. In choosing self-transformation we choose challenge over
comfort, innovation over emulation, transformation over torpor.
Extropy emerges from
neophiles and experimentalists who
track new research for more efficient means of achieving goals and who are
willing to explore novel technologies of self-transformation. In our
mission of continual advancement, we rely on our own judgment, seek our
own path, and reject both blind conformity and mindless rebellion.
Self-transformation will frequently lead us to diverge from the mainstream
because growth is not chained by any dogma, whether religious, political,
or intellectual. The responsibility for self-transformation means choosing
our values and behavior reflectively, standing firm when necessary but
responding flexibly to new conditions.
Advanced, emerging, and future technologies deserve
close attention for their potential in supporting self-transformation.
Valuing self-transformation entails supporting biomedical research to
understand and control the aging process, and implementing effective means
of extending vitality. It means practicing and planning for biological and
neurological augmentation through means such as information technology,
neurochemical enhancement, communications networks, critical and creative
thinking skills, cognitive techniques and training, accelerated learning
strategies, and applied cognitive psychology. We can shrug off the limits
imposed by our natural heritage, applying the evolutionary gift of our
rational, empirical intelligence as we strive to surpass the confines of
our human limits.
Since every individual lives with others, we need to
continually improve our personal relationships. Our interests intertwine
with those of others making acting for mutual benefit an effective
strategy. Self-transformation implies not self-absorption but a continued
attempt to understand others and to work toward optimal relationships
based on mutual honesty, open communication, and benevolence. Evolution
left us with animalistic urges and emotions that sometimes prompt us
thoughtlessly into acts of hostility, conflict, fear, and domination.
Through self-awareness and understanding of and respect for others we can
rise above these urges.
While valuing other people we will do better to focus
primarily on self-transformation rather than trying to change others.
Recognizing the dangers of controlling others suggests that we try to
improve the world through setting an example and by communicating ideas.
We may be intensely committed to the education and improvement of others,
but only through voluntary means that respect the rationality, autonomy,
and dignity of the individual.
3. PRACTICAL OPTIMISM
Extropy entails espousing a positive, dynamic,
empowering attitude. It means seeking to realize our ideals in this
world, today and tomorrow. Rather than enduring an unfulfilling life
sustained by fantasies of another life (whether in daydreams or in an
"afterlife"), An extropic orientation implies directing our
energies enthusiastically into moving toward an ever-evolving vision.
Living vigorously, effectively, and joyfully, requires
prevailing over gloom, defeatism, and negativism. We need to acknowledge
problems, whether technical, social, psychological, or ecological, but we
need not allow them to dominate our thinking and our direction. We can
respond to gloom and defeatism by exploring and exploiting new
possibilities. Practical optimism entails an optimistic view of the
future, a commitment to discovering potent remedies to many ancient human
ailments, and taking charge to create that future. Practical
optimism disallows passively waiting and wishing for tomorrow; it propels
us exuberantly into immediate activity, confidently confronting today’s
challenges while generating more potent solutions for our future. We take
personal responsibility by taking charge and creating the conditions for
Practical optimists question limits others take for
granted. Observing accelerating scientific and technical learning,
ascending standards of living, and evolving social and moral practices, we
can project and encourage continuing progress. Today there are more
researchers studying aging, medicine, computers, biotechnology,
nanotechnology, and other enabling disciplines than in all of history.
Technological and social development continue to accelerate. Practical
optimists strive to maintain the pace of progress by encouraging support
for crucial research, and pioneering the implementation of its results. As
practical optimists we maintain a constructive skepticism to the limiting
beliefs held by our associates, our society, and ourselves. We see past
current obstacles by retaining a fundamental creative openness to
Adopting practical optimism means focusing on
possibilities and opportunities, being alert to solutions and
potentialities. It means refusing to moan about the unavoidable, accepting
and learning from mistakes rather than staying in a loop of
self-punishment. Practical optimists prefer to be for rather than against,
to create solutions rather than to protest against what exists. This
optimism is also realism in that we can take the world as it is and do not
complain that life is not fair. Practical optimism requires us to take the
initiative, to jump up and plow into our difficulties, our actions
declaring that we can achieve our goals.
By embodying practical optimism in our actions and
words we can inspire others to excel. We are responsible for taking the
initiative in spreading this invigorating optimism; sustaining and
strengthening our own dynamism is more easily achieved in a mutually
reinforcing environment. We stimulate optimism in others by communicating
our extropic values and by living our ideals and standards.
Practical optimism and passive faith are incompatible.
Practical optimism means critical optimism. Faith in a better future is
confidence that an external force, whether God, State, or even
extraterrestrials, will solve our problems. Faith breeds passivity by
promising progress as a gift bestowed on us by superior forces. But, in
return for the gift, faith requires a fixed belief in and supplication to
external forces, thereby creating dogmatic beliefs and irrational
behavior. Practical optimism fosters initiative and intelligence, assuring
us that we are capable of improving life through our own efforts.
Opportunities and possibilities are everywhere, calling to us to seize
them and to build upon them. Attaining our goals requires that we believe
in ourselves, work diligently, and be willing to revise our strategies.
Where others see difficulties, practical optimists see
challenges. Where others give up, we move forward. Where others say enough
is enough, we say let’s try again with a fresh approach.
Practical optimists espouse personal, social, and technological evolution
into ever better forms. Rather than shrinking from future shock, practical
optimists continue to advance the wave of evolutionary progress.
4. INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGY
Extropy entails strongly affirming the value of science
and technology. It means using practical methods to advance the goals of
expanded intelligence, superior physical abilities, psychological
refinement, social advance, and indefinite life spans. It means preferring
science to mysticism, and technology to prayer. Science and technology are
indispensable means to the achievement of our most noble values, ideals,
and visions and to humanity’s further evolution. We have a
responsibility to foster these disciplined forms of intelligence, and to
direct them toward eradicating the barriers to the unfolding of extropy,
radically transforming both the internal and external conditions of
We can think of "intelligent technology" in a
variety of useful ways. In one sense it refers to intelligently designed
technology that well serves good human purposes. In a second sense it
refers to technology with inherent intelligence or adaptability or
possessed of an instinctual ability. In a third sense, it means using
technology to enhance our intelligence – our abilities to learn, to
discover, process, absorb, and inter-connect knowledge.
Technology is a natural extension and expression of
human intellect and will, of creativity, curiosity, and imagination. We
can foresee and encourage the development of ever more flexible, smart,
responsive technology. We will co-evolve with the products of our minds,
integrating with them, finally integrating our intelligent technology into
ourselves in a posthuman synthesis, amplifying our abilities and extending
Profound technological innovation should excite rather
than frightens us. We would do well to welcome constructive change,
expanding our horizons, exploring new territory boldly and inventively.
Careful and cautious development of powerful technologies makes sense, but
we should neither stifle evolutionary advancement nor cringe before the
unfamiliar. Timidity and stagnation are ignoble, uninspiring responses.
Humans can surge ahead — riding the waves of future shock — rather
than stagnating or reverting to primitivism. Intelligent use of bio- nano-
and information technologies and the opening of new frontiers in space,
can remove resource constraints and discharge environmental pressures.
The coming years and decades will bring enormous
changes that will vastly expand our opportunities and abilities,
transforming our lives for the better. This technological transformation
will be accelerated by life extending biosciences, biochemical and genetic
engineering, intelligence intensifiers, smarter interfaces to swifter
computers, worldwide data networks, virtual reality, intelligent agents,
pervasive, affective, and instinctual computing systems, neuroscience,
artificial life, and molecular nanotechnologies.
5. OPEN SOCIETY
Extropic societies are open societies that protect the
free exchange of ideas, the freedom to criticize, and the liberty to
experiment. Coercively suppressing bad ideas can be as dangerous as the
bad ideas themselves. Better ideas must be allowed to emerge in our
cultures through an evolutionary process of creation, mutation, and
critical selection. The freedom of expression of an open society is best
protected by a social order characterized by voluntary relationships and
exchanges. In advocating open societies we oppose self-proclaimed and
imposed "authorities", and we are leery of coercive political
solutions, unquestioning obedience to leaders, and inflexible, excessive
hierarchies that smother initiative and intelligence.
We can apply critical rationalism to society by holding
all institutions and processes open to continued improvement. Sustained
progress and effective, rational decision-making require the diverse
sources of information and differing perspectives that flourish in open
societies. Centralized command of behavior constrains exploration,
diversity, and dissenting opinion. We can pursue extropic goals in
numerous types of open social orders but not in theocracies or
authoritarian or totalitarian systems.
Societies with pervasive and coercively enforced
centralized control cannot allow dissent and diversity. Yet open societies
can allow institutions of all kinds to exist — whether participatory,
autonomy-maximizing institutions or hierarchical, bureaucratic
institutions. Within an open society individuals, through their voluntary
consent, may choose to submit themselves to more restrictive arrangements
in the form of clubs, private communities, or corporate entities. Open
societies allow more rigidly organized social structures to exist so long
as individuals are free to leave. By serving as a framework within which
social experimentation can proceed, open societies encourage exploration,
innovation, and progress.
Open societies avoids utopian plans for "the
perfect society", instead appreciating the diversity in values,
lifestyle preferences, and approaches to solving problems. In place of the
static perfection of a utopia, we might imagine a dynamic "extropia"
— an open, evolving framework allowing individuals and voluntary
groupings to form the institutions and social forms they prefer. Even
where we find some of those choices mistaken or foolish, open societies
affirm the value of a system that allows all ideas to be tried with the
consent of those involved.
Extropic thinking conflicts with the technocratic idea
of coercive central control by insular, self-proclaimed experts. No group
of experts can understand and control the endless complexity of an economy
and society composed of other individuals like themselves. Unlike utopians
of all stripes, extropic individuals and institutions do not seek to
control the details of people’s lives or the forms and functions of
institutions according to a grand over-arching plan.
Since we all live in society, we are deeply concerned
with its improvement. But that improvement must respect the individual.
Social engineering should be piecemeal as we enhance institutions one by
one on a voluntary basis, not through a centrally planned coercive
implementation of a single vision. We are right to seek to continually
improve social institutions and economic mechanisms. Yet we must recognize
the difficulties in improving complex systems. We need to be radical in
intent but cautious in approach, being aware that alterations to complex
systems bring unintended consequences. Simultaneous experimentation with
numerous possible solutions and improvements — social parallel
processing — works better than utopian centrally administered
Law and government are not ends in themselves but means
to happiness and progress. In advocating open societies we do not attach
ourselves to any particular laws or economic structures as ultimate ends.
We will favor those laws and policies which at any time seem most
conducive to maintaining and expanding the openness and progress of
society. Fostering open societies means opposing dangerous concentrations
of coercive power and favoring the rule of law instead of the arbitrary
rule of authorities. Because coercive power corrupts and leads to the
suppression of alternative ideas and practices, we need to apply rules and
laws equally to legislators and enforcers without exception. Open
societies are frameworks for the peaceful, productive pursuit of
individual and group goals.
In open societies people seek neither to rule nor to be
ruled. Individuals should be in charge of their own lives. Healthy
societies require a combination of liberty and responsibility. For open
societies to exist, individuals must be free to pursue their own interests
in their own way. But for individuals and societies to flourish, liberty
must come with personal responsibility. The demand for freedom without
responsibility is an adolescent’s demand for license.
Extropy sees personal self-direction as a desirable
counterpart to open societies. Self-direction increases in importance as
culture and technology present us with an ever-expanding range of choice.
Each individual should be free and responsible for deciding for themselves
in what ways to change or to stay the same. Self-direction means being
clear about our values and our purposes. Having clear purpose in life not
only brings both practical and emotional rewards but also protects against
manipulation and control by others. Freedom from others brings fulfillment
and personal progress only when combined with self-direction.
Successfully directing ourselves requires first
creating a clear (yet developing) sense of self then implementing that
vision by exercising self-control. The human self contains a bundle of
desires and drives built into the biological organism through evolutionary
processes and cultural influence. Taking charge of ourselves requires
choosing from among competing desires and subpersonalities. While
spontaneity plays an important role, creating and sustaining a healthy and
successful self requires self-discipline and persistence.
Personal responsibility and autonomy go hand-in-hand
with self-experimentation. It is extropic to take responsibility for the
consequences of our choices, refusing to blame others for the results of
our own free actions. Experimentation and self-transformation require
risks; individuals require the freedom to evaluate potential risks and
benefits for themselves, applying their own judgment, and assuming
responsibility for outcomes. Pursuing extropy means vigorously resisting
coercion from those who try to impose their judgments of the safety and
effectiveness of various means of self-experimentation. Personal
responsibility and self-determination are incompatible with authoritarian
centralized control, which stifles the choices and spontaneous ordering of
Coercion of mature, sound minds outside the realm of
self-protection, whether for the purported "good of the whole"
or for the paternalistic protection of the individual, is unacceptable.
Compulsion breeds ignorance and weakens the connection between personal
choice and personal outcome, thereby destroying personal responsibility.
Extropy calls for rational individualism – or cognitive independence,
living by our own judgment, making reflective, informed choices, profiting
from both success and shortcoming.
Since self-direction applies to everyone, this
principle requires that we respect the self-direction of others. This
means trade not domination, rational discussion not coercion or
manipulation, and cooperation rather than conflict wherever feasible.
Appreciating that other persons have their own lives, purposes, and values
implies seeking win-win cooperative solutions rather than trying to force
our interests at the expense of others. We respect the autonomy and
rationality of others by learning to communicate effectively and working
towards mutually beneficial solutions.
The virtue of benevolence should guide our interactions
with the self-directed lives of others. Benevolence naturally goes along
with an appreciation of the value in other selves and with confidence in
our own self. We act benevolently not by acting under obligation to
sacrifice personal interests; we embody benevolence when we have a
disposition to help others. Self-direction means approaching others as
potential sources of value, friendship, cooperation, and pleasure. A
benevolent disposition not only embodies more emotional stability,
resilience, and vitality than cynicism, hostility, and meanness, it is
also more likely to induce similar responses from others. Benevolence
implies a presumption of common moral decencies including politeness,
patience, and honesty. While self-direction cannot mean getting along with
everyone at any cost, it does imply seeking to maximize the benefits of
interactions with others.
Self-direction means being in charge of our lives. This
requires choosing actions intelligently. This in turn requires independent
thinking. One of the less noble human qualities shows itself when anyone
gives up intellectual control to others. Self-direction calls on us to
rise above the surrender of independent judgement that we see –
especially in religion, politics, morals, and relationships. Directing our
lives asks us to determine for ourselves our values, purposes, and
actions. New technologies offer more choices not only over what we do but
also over who we are physically, intellectually, and psychologically. By
taking charge of ourselves we can use these new means to advance ourselves
according to our personal values.
Extropy affirms reason, critical inquiry, intellectual
independence, and honesty. Rational thinking means rejecting blind faith
and the passive, comfortable thinking that leads to dogma, conformity, and
stagnation. Commitment to positive self-transformation requires critically
analyzing our current beliefs, behaviors, and strategies.
To think rationally we will readily admit error and learn from it rather
than professing infallibility. Embodying the disciple of rational thinking
means preferring analytical thought to fuzzy but comfortable delusion,
empiricism to mysticism, and independent evaluation to conformity. It
means affirming values, standards, and principles but remaining distant
from dogma – whether religious, political, or personal – because of
its blind faith, debasement of human worth, and systematic irrationality.
Rational people are not cynics who reject every new
idea. Nor are they gullible people who accept every new idea without
question. Rational thinkers employ critical and creative thinking to
discover great new ideas while filtering out indefensible ideas whether
new or old. Rational thinkers recognize that advancing individually and
socially calls for critically challenging the dogmas and assumptions of
the past while resisting the popular delusions of the present.
Rational thinkers accept no final intellectual
authorities. No individual, no institution, no book, and no single
principle can serve as the source or standard of truth. All beliefs are
fallible and must be open to testing and challenging. Rational thinkers do
not accept revelation, authority, or emotion as reliable sources of
knowledge. Rational thinkers place little weight on claims that cannot be
checked. In thinking rationally, we rely on the judgement of our own minds
while continually re-examining our own intellectual standards and skills.
Emphasizing the primacy of reason should not be taken to imply a rejection
of emotion or intuition. These can carry useful information and play a
legitimate role in thinking. But rational thinkers do not take feelings
and intuitions as irreducible, unquestionable authorities. Those processes
can more productively be seen as unconscious information processing, the
accuracy of which is uncertain.
Extropy implies seeking objective knowledge and truth.
We can know reality, and through science the human mind can progressively
overcome its cognitive and sensory biases to comprehend the world as it
really is. Humans deserve to be proud of what we have learned, yet should
appreciate how much we have yet to learn. We should have confidence in our
ability to advance our knowledge, yet remain wary of the human propensity
to settle for and defend any comfortable explanation.
Version 3.11 is the September 20, 2003 version with
purely linguistic and formatting corrections to version 3.1. My thanks to
Brett Paatsch for edits.
More extended treatments of these principles can be
found in essays, some of which have been published in EXTROPY (now
Extropy Online at www.extropy.org/eo/). Practical
Optimism was previously called Dynamic Optimism. The original (1990)
version of "Dynamic Optimism" appeared in Extropy #8. A
different, more practically-oriented version is available on the web.
Self-Transformation was discussed in "Technological
Self-Transformation" in Extropy #10. The principle of
Self-Direction was developed in "Self-Ownership: A Core Transhuman
Virtue" in Extropy Online. A pancritical rationalist
understanding of rational thinking was presented in "Pancritical
Rationalism: An Extropic Metacontext for Memetic Rationalism" at the
EXTRO 1 conference in 1994. The original essay on transhumanism,
"Transhumanism: Toward a Futurist Philosophy" was published in Extropy,
and a later statement of transhumanism was published in Free Inquiry
as "On Becoming Posthuman". Answers to many questions arising
from The Principles of Extropy are answered in the FAQ at www.extropy.org.
The Principles of Extropy 3.11 may be reproduced in any
publication, private or public, physical or electronic, without need for
further authorization, so long as the document appears unedited, in its
entirety and with this notice. Notification of publication or distribution
would be appreciated. The Principles of Extropy 3.1 are copyright ©2003
by Max More. Contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Max More, Ph.D.
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman, Extropy Institute. http://www.extropy.org
The pace of change — technological, cultural, and economic — continues
to accelerate and to reach deeper. Uncertainty has become endemic, with
historical certainties now being challenged — including the biological
conditions of human beings and our social structures. The results:
Stress and strain; poor decision-making using methods not well suited to
the changing conditions; political and economic institutions not well
adapted; value systems, philosophical worldviews, and religious beliefs
blind to new possibilities; mistrust, fear, and poor planning for
personal, organizational, and social futures.
Advances in technology (including "social technologies" of knowledge
management, learning, and decision-making) are starting to enable us to
change human nature itself in its physical, emotional, and intellectual
aspects. The radical possibilities now emerging could cause huge
problems or could enormously improve the human/transhuman condition.
With better knowledge and decision making, humans could live far longer
in better-than-"perfect" health; improve their self-knowledge and
awareness of interpersonal dynamics; overcome cultural, psychological,
and memetic biases in thinking; enhance intelligence in all its various
forms; and learn to thrive on change and growth
Most of the approaches we take
(looking for new ideas and previously unnoticed or undeveloped
connections between them)
Devising (coming up with our own
Educating (disseminating the results of exploring
Advocating (we commit to remaining open to all
kinds of approaches, yet we are not value-neutral-- we favor human
advancement without apology)
Equipping (developing and assembling and pointing
to methods of all kinds for solving the current fundamental challenges
Catalyzing (given limited resources, we will
leverage existing organizations, networks, and knowledge, taking a
highly cooperative approach)
What global mission do you
think we need to address today for our future tomorrow?