Masthead CMC Magazine / April 1, 1996
 The Status of the Information Society, by Michel Bauwens

Radical Indigenous Movements

This point of view is most radically articulated by the Extropian movement. While it has only a few hundred members, it can count on sympathizers like Hans Moravec, the robot historian, and Erik Drexler, the nanotechnologist, and its cultural influence on magazines like Wired and Mondo 2000. Extropians are radically against the limits imposed by nature and are convinced that technology is the means by which humans can free themselves from natural constraints. Hence, they foster research in cryogenics (Marvin Minsky, the artificial intelligence pioneer reportedly once said, "If you die it's because you deserve it."), life extension, and believe we are entering the age of the space-bound post-human.

Extropians are convinced that the Internet is a laboratory for the social practices of the future, and that it can be used to experiment with new practices. Radical groups like the Extropians force the rest of all to squarely face the metaphysical underpinnings of our technological quest, and its occult meaning which is that humanities endeavor to acquire god-like powers. Such an endeavor might either be interpreted as a negative and Luciferian attempt to create what ultimately will be a rival Machine God (Deus Ex Machina, as Paul Virilio states), or on the contrary, as one further step towards a more encompassing human 'planetary consciousness ("Electric Gaia," as Michael Strangelove states). Perhaps we can conclude with Stewart Brand (creator of the legendary Whole Earth Catalog) who once said, "We are as gods, so we might as well be good at it." ^

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