Extropy Institute Closes


After 17 years, the Extropy Institute (the initial pioneer in transhumanist thinking) is shutting down. Extropy was a neologism devised by founder Max More as the opposite of entropy, i.e., extropy signifies increasing order rather than increasing disorder. While the Institute formally eschewed any specific political philosophy, it attracted a lot of supporters with a distinctly libertarian bent.

While transhumanism is hardly a household word, it has gained sufficient prominence among intellectuals and policy wonks to have been denounced by scholar Francis Fukuyama, author of Our Posthuman Future, as the world's "most dangerous idea." The Institute has announced a strategic plan aimed at promoting the "proactionary principle" which is conceived of as the policy opposite of the "precautionary principle" The precautionary principle can be accurately summed up as "never do anything for the first time," so perhaps the proactionary principle can be condensed to "move forward and allow human creativity to solve new problems as they arise."

The Extropy Institute did hard ground-breaking intellectual work toward fostering a future in which humanity will be able to transcend the limits placed on us by our genes and our environment. Good luck to founders Max More and Natasha Vita-More and Tom Bell in their new campaign to promote the proactionary principle.

Disclosure: I have never been a member of the Extropy Institute, but perhaps my fellow-traveling tendency is best exemplified by the fact that the vanity plate on my car reads "EXTROPY."