Date: Thu Jan 31 2002 - 02:41:13 MST
Thank you to the numerous people who wished me a happy birthday. I confess that the stream of messages on more than one email list brought tears to my eyes.
At a mere 38 years of age, I still feel like an infant struggling to understand the universe, yet with an inexorable will to live, live, live!
My time perspective has been stretching out over the years. The 14 years since I launched Extropy magazine with T0M seem like a short stretch. (How brief will a century seem to a millennial being?)
My life and the world around me have changed so drastically since 1988. Back then I would have smiled wryly at the idea of being married. Then I mistook the tradition of marriage for an involuntary sentence of servitude. I did not appreciate the value of a voluntary, whole-hearted life-union with a kindred spirit, perhaps in part because I found such a spirit hard to find in a woman. Now, married to the extraordinary Natasha Vita-More, I revel in being a husband and transhuman, not just an individual and transhuman. I have come to understand the true relationship possible between individual and husband.
I am amazed and delighted at the progress of transhumanist ideas during this time. My own efforts, combined with those of many others and with the tide of events, have brought our concerns to the forefront of the attention of the multitude. My early years of being considered an eccentric, an interesting but deluded eccentric, have turned into a vindication. You, my friends and comrades-in-ideas, are my family. I look forward to an unending future of relationships, communication, achievement, and unrelenting purposive development alone and together. I thank you all for enriching my life.
At this still-early stage of my life, I have many friends who I admire and who inspire. I continually chide myself for my many shortcomings that stand out in the face of the exemplars I know. At the same time, I try to contain my pride at my own growth seeing so many failing around me, wondering how I can help the less self-conscious parts of humanity become more self-aware.
Yesterday, on the date of my exit from the womb and entry into the world of independence, I stood near the edge of the Pacific Ocean on a blazingly clear day, marveling at the sheer beauty of the world. In the last few weeks I had been from 100 feet under the ocean to thousands of miles up in sky. Now I was gazing out across our delightful planet at an open horizon which, to me, represented the future. The future is unknown, both daunting and exhilarating. Not for me the lies, myths, and soft blankets of religions. The future will be what I and you make of it. My birthday reminds me of my responsibility in shaping that inchoate future.
Some days life seems difficult, full of pressures, strain, difficulties, sadness, impossible challenges. But on this day nothing seems impossible. Life is good, so good that I can barely stand it. No matter its real difficulties, its obstacles, its setbacks, I love my life. I love my friends. I love you, my comrades. I love this incredible open-ended journey.
President, Extropy Institute
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