Members of ExI contributed to the first Transhumanist FAQ which originated on the transhuman mailing list in the mid-1990s. ExI has added much of that information to its FAQ to provide a reliable information source.
Transhumanism-FAQ hos Extropy Institute.
The Principles of Extropy in Brief
1. Perpetual Progress: 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.
2. Self-Transformation: 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 psychological refinement.
3. Practical Optimism: 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.
4. Intelligent Technology: 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.
5. Open Society: 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”).
6. Self-Direction: Extropy means valuing independent thinking, individual freedom, personal responsibility, self-direction, self-respect, and a parallel respect for others.
7. Rational Thinking: Extropy means favoring reason over blind faith and questioning over dogma. It means understanding, experimenting, learning, challenging, and innovating rather than clinging to beliefs.
This is a virus known as a bacteriophage. It has no senses, no brain, no nervous system in fact it is merely a molecular hypodermic needle for injecting its DNA into a bacteria so the bacteria will produce more of the virus. It doesn’t eat. It doesn’t excrete. It has no respiration and no way of replenishing its energy. It is just a protein shell with some coiled DNA inside it. Yet it can seek out a bacteria in three dimensional space identify it as prey, latch on, and invade.
How does it find a bacteria, latch on and make the decision to invade that cell?
The answer is consciousness. It, unlike a mineral, is aware that it is something other than what is surrounding it. It moves and acts with a purpose. It unlike an inanimate thing such as a salt crystal, has a rudimentary awareness of its own existence, its location and its purpose. Why is this significant? It proves that consciousness is not created by the brain. It exists as a force or an energy. Thus, since energy cannot be created or destroyed then it is immortal. Then the consciousness you possess is not your own it is part of this greater whole. In this sense you too are immortal.