Link-post for two pieces I just wrote on the Extropians.
The Extropians were an online group of techno-optimist transhumanist libertarians active in the 90s who influence a lot of online intellectual culture today, especially in EA and Rationalism. Prominent members include Eliezer Yudkowsky, Nick Bostrom, Robin Hanson, Eric Drexler, Marvin Minsky and all three of the likely candidates for Satoshi Nakamoto (Hal Finney, Wei Dai, and Nick Szabo).
The first piece is a deep dive into the archived Extropian forum. It was super fun to write and I was constantly surprised about how much of the modern discourse on AI and existential risk had already been covered in 1996.
The second piece is a retrospective on predictions made by Extropians in 1995. Eric Drexler, Nick Szabo and 5 other Extropians give their best estimates for when we'll have indefinite biological lifespans and reproducing asteroid eaters.