Re: Are you an extropian? Re: Voluntary simplicity

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 21:45:16 MDT

I agree with what you are saying and with the long term goals. What I
don't agree with is the idea of spending your precious years here (which
as you point out, may be limited due to you losing the race between death
and medical tech) on simple pleasures. Based on today's technology you
have a very limited time- let's put it in terms of money- you have perhaps
$1,000,000 (say $10,000 per year of life). You can blow your money on
gardening for 50 years or you can blow it on developing your personal
empire to the point that you just might be able to nudge the medical
technology forward a bit quicker thereby helping to save not only your
life but a lot of other people who happen to be right on the dividing
point between living forever and not living forever. Which, as an
extropian, is the correct choice? Do you choose challenge or comfort?

Wayne Hayes wrote:
> Brian Atkins <> writes:
> >And again no offense, but spending your days tending your garden is not
> >exactly helping you get closer to the days of posthumanism.
> I think you need to step back and take a good, long philosophical look
> at *why* you're an extropian.
> I tend to lurk more than post here, but if I were to try to sum up
> extropian values in one sentence, it would be this: to create and
> harness technology for the purpose of extending the length and
> improving the quality of human life.
> That seems to be a noble and practical goal, until one delves deeper
> and asks: why?
> The answer is obvious, and can be expressed by saying the same
> thing in even simpler language: we want to live long, healthy and happy
> lives.
> Why do we want to live long? Because we want to have time to do stuff.
> Stuff we *like* to do. That's the "happy" part, and to me that's really
> the ultimate goal. We want to be happy *as long as possible*. That's
> the "long and healthy" part. Of course, until such time as life
> extension techniques become commonplace, an extropian has some overhead
> to attend to: *creating*, or at least supporting research into, life
> extension. But pursuing that goal to the exclusion of all else misses
> the whole point of the life in the first place, which is to be happy.
> If Bonnie chooses to spend a substantial chunk of her thousands of
> future years in this world tending to her garden (because she enjoys
> it), who are you to claim that she's wasting her time? If she has
> enough financial resources to do so, why should she instead hoard her
> money entirely for the hollow goal of life extension for its own sake?
> You must also face the sobering fact that you may simply die before
> life extension techniques become available. If that's the case,
> hedging your bets and living life to it's fullest NOW (keeping a
> watchful eye on, and hopefully supporting, extropian values) is
> certainly in line with being extropian.

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