Re: Cloning

Harvey Newstrom (
Wed, 11 Mar 1998 11:00:27 -0500

Tony B. Csoka wrote:
> It is interesting that you have become an Extropian, while he has not.
> Have you ever discussed extropy and/or transhumanism with him? I would
> be interested to know what he thinks.

He is not interested. He thinks my ideas are weird.

I skipped out of high school early because I couldn't stand it. I took
the GED and went straight to college at age 16. My brother followed,
but I don't think he felt the pressure to get out that I did.

I chose an Science Education major, with minors in Computer Science and
Biology. He chose a straight Computer Science major. I moved out from
my parents, got a job and put myself through college, because my parents
did not approve of the nontechnical portions of my college curriculum.
My brother stayed at home, and let Mom and Day pay for his college and

By the time we graduated, I had switched schools, gotten two degrees (in
Business and Computer Science, with minors in Biology, Psychology, and
Education. I also had been doing computer contracts for 5 years. My
brother graducated with a single-major degree in Computer Science and no
experience. He was devestated when his first job paid less than mine.
He had no idea that experience would be worthwhile, and fully expected
his more technical degree to land him a much better position than mine.

He has been content to serve his employers, only changing jobs when laid
off. I, on the other hand, have always strived to get ahead. I have
always had jobs where I serviced multiple contracts, and always
developed one of these areas into a higher job to replace my previous
one. My brother still works for a fine company, but I now have a
consulting firm with my business partner.

The only early difference is that I became sexually active in my teens,
and got into a lot of trouble for it. I had to decide that I was going
to choose my own life choices. My brother seems to have remained the
good son, and probably was a virgin by the time he married a couple of
years ago.

I think having to rebell, having to move out of the house and support
myself for my goals, and generally having to make my own way has lead me
to be self-sufficient. My brother still seems to expect state and
employer to provide him with opportunities as long as he obeys and works
hard. I no longer trust government or employers.

My brother is slowly coming around to my way of thinking, but started
out his life experience about 4-5 years after I did. (We are 35 years
old now.) He still thinks nutrition is inconvenient, life-extension is
unproven and speculative, and cryonics is science fiction.

He thinks my constant striving for change to be strange, and actually
complains that I change all the time. He finds it odd that I used to
eat meat, then I became kosher, and finally vegetarian. He finds it odd
that I searched various religions before finally developing my own
philosophy for living. He seems to interpret change as failure and an
admission that one's previous views were "bad". I have difficulty
explaining to him that Christianity was great because it gave me
purpose. Then I questioned and researched what the Bible really said,
and found all sorts of other old texts. Then I researched more into
history and why these texts said what they said. Finally, I question
any divine purpose in the texts and believe they were earnest attempts
by early philosophers to explain the unexplained. I didn't reject my
former beliefs as much as I grew and evolved (or transcended) out of
them. Whereas I value change as a chance for growth, he fears change as
a chance for loss or failure.

Since genetics doesn't explain the difference, I must ascribe it to
attitude. Since early childhood environment wasn't much different, I
must ascribe it to my reaction to the environment.

Harvey Newstrom <>
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