Re: virus: Hello and comments

David McFadzean (
Tue, 19 Sep 1995 11:40:21 -0600

At 08:01 PM 9/18/95 -0500, wrote:

>Are you (we?) getting too diffuse? I tend to be an evolutionary hardliner

The only danger of diffusion (if I understand you correctly) is the
risk of inconsistency.

>(Blessed be the name of St. Dawkins) and it seems to me that the
>Extropian part of the strain may be diluting the message.
>(I admit ignorance of most of it, though).

In my view the Virian doctrine of evolution being a fundamental
aspect of existence is at the core of Virus. It's the part that is
invariant across cultures, alien civilizations, maybe even possible
universes. The rest, such as it is, is a result of applying that
knowledge to human existence. I don't see how this dilutes the message,
on the contrary the application of the philosophy gives it meaning.

>In my incomplete understanding, Extropians seem awfully millenial, just like
>fundamentalists: "Just get enough computers and spaceships, load yourself up
>into silicon, and death will vanish and everything will be allright." Rather

I think this attitude applies only to a minority of people calling
themselves Extropians. It may be an unfortunate fact that every
organization of sufficient size attracts a small yet vocal lunatic
fringe which eventually becomes associated with the group. The
dangers of this type of (millenial) thinking was a common thread of
discussion at the first two Extropian conferences.

>like the Rapture. Also, a lesson of evolution is that death is a Good Thing.
>This may even apply to minds.

Death is a Good Thing for who? Evolution has taught us that there is
no selective pressure for immortal genes to create immortal vehicles.
I don't think we can draw a conclusion that death is a good thing from

>Book to add:
>Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Dennett

Please post a short review, and I'll add it to the book page.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Merak Projects Ltd.