Extropianism, also reffered to as extropy, is a transhumanist philosophy characterized by a set of principles regarding extropy, defined by Dr. Max More in The Principles of Extropy. The philosophy of Extropy places strong emphasis on rational thinking and practical optimism. The philosophy of Extropy stems out of the transhumanist worldview, as defined by Dr. More.
According to More, these principles "do not specify particular beliefs, technologies, or policies". Extropy shares the beliefs of its parent philosophy, transhumanism, which was also developed and defined by Dr. More. The transhumanist philosophy of Extropy supports an optimistic view of the future, expecting considerable advances in computational power, life expectancy, nanotechnology and the like. Many extropians believe in the eventual realization of unlimited lifespans and resurrection (for those preserved by means of cryonics) by technological means.
Extropy, coined by Tom Bell (T. O. Morrow) in January 1988, is defined as the extent of a living or organizational system's intelligence, functional order, vitality, energy, life, experience, and capacity and drive for improvement and growth. Extropy expresses a metaphor, rather than serving as a technical term, and so is not simply the opposite of entropy.
The Extropy Institute
In 1987, Max More moved to Los Angeles from Oxford University in England, where he established the first European cryonics organization, known as Mizar Limited (later Alcor-UK), to work on his Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Southern California.
In 1988, "Extropy: The Journal of Transhumanist Thought" was published, which brought together thinkers to write about artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, life extension, uploading, Idea Futures, robotics, space exploration, and the politics and economics of transhumanism. Soon alternative media began reviewing the magazine and the magazine attracted interest from likeminded thinkers. Later, More and Bell co-founded Extropy Institute, a non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization. "ExI" was formed as a transhumanist networking and information center to use current scientific understanding along with critical and creative thinking to define a small set of principles or values that could help make sense of new capabilities opening up to humanity.
Extropy Institute's email list was launched in 1991 and in 1992 the institute began producing the first conferences on transhumanism, and affiliate members throughout the world who began organizing their own transhumanist groups. Extro Conferences, meetings, parties, on-line debates, and documentaries continue to spread transhumanism to the public. The Internet soon became the most fertile breeding ground for people interested in exploring new tools with websites such as Extropy Institute, Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Foresight Institute, Transhumanist Arts & Culture, World Transhumanist Association, Immortality Institute and BetterHumans.
Today there are other organizations that have joined Extropy Institute to further transhumanist ideas such as Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Foresight Institute, Transhumanist Arts & Culture, Immortality Institute, Aleph in Sweden, TransVision in Europe, World Transhumanist Association, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and numerous other organizations currently being developed.