Re: virus: Brave New World

Eric Boyd (
Wed, 10 Mar 1999 20:56:33 -0500


From: <> <<
Eric, You gave us a fabulous quote below. Thanks!

I know. Everybody I've ever shown that to has said it's excellent; I used to have it on my web page as part of a Journal entry. The fact that it is so universally well recieved makes me happy -- perhaps the society I described in my previous post *would* have enough capital I Individuals.

Don't you think that as long as we try to talk about talking or think about how we think we will end up inevitably wading through psychology and, maybe, religion?

Well, I just finished describing Virus and it's mailing list as being about "religion, philosophy (especially metaphysics and epistemology), memetics (an evolutionary theory of information) and consciousness." You could easily add psychology.

Anyway, we are already living in that compromise you mentioned before. Maybe there is no island and there is no BNW to inhabit. Only the space between, where we imagine them, but do not live in their extremes.

If you look at Extropian principles, they recommend an ideal enviroment for extropian progress that is very much like we have around us today; i.e. we are living in an "extropian utopia"[1], of sorts. While I think that a BNW is possible, I am convinced that it does not exist today -- most members of western society are unhappy / stressed / what have you, if you believe the psychologists.

Question for Richard: (I just caught the end of your appearence on Oprah) Do you think that an entire society of Level 3 persons is even possible? (let alone by 2000) i.e. *can* everybody in society become level 3 and that society still function? How many level 3 people will become Janitors?

As a deep aside, this discussion is reminding me of

The Critical Mass of Enlightenment

A teaser:

"The critical mass of enlightenment can be defined as the smallest number of awakened human beings whose collective influence can initiate a significant shift in global consciousness. The process of creating enough enlightened ones to achieve this critical mass can be likened to the transformation of coal into diamonds. The pressure of surrounding human unconsciousness creates an urgency in the potential enlightened one to awaken from illusion. The total weight of so much unconscious 'carbon' exerts a tremendous pressure, through which a few coal stones reach the appropriate mass to become 'diamonds.' These awakened beings embody the crystal clarity of enlightened consciousness which can transform the level of consciousness of the entire planet."

Although this theory has several large holes (I question the final assumption that the level of consciousness of the entire planet (*all* individuals) can change), I think that the basic idea of the mass of humanity exerting an influence on a few small percent who are transformed is itself sound. Can we build a new eschatology from that kernel? Is the BNW itself a possible end to that story?


[1] In as much as the conjunction of these words makes any sense.