Some comments, bearing your (and mine as it happens) goal for
1) cut to the chase sooner. Condense those first two paragraphs into one
sentence ["things are a-changin'"] and start directly with "we have to be
prepared to live longer."
2) remove references to SciFi works; no matter how great they are, the
majority of the populance looks down their nose at SciFi.
[personal opinions here on down :) ]
3) people like a challenge -- consider that everyone around 25-40 today
stands on the greatest cusp in history. If we can rise to the challenge,
eternal life and riches beyond measure are ours. If we we fail, we suffer
personal extinction. Utter success or utter failure is within our grasp, and
our actions as individuals and as a culture will entirely determine which of
these two options it is for each and every one of us.
Challenge them. Are they up to it? Are they prepared to face the future,
decide what they want, and then live by their convictions? The vast majority
of the human race is content to hide from self-improvement, from death, from
learning, from themselves...your toastees need to be better than that.
This, of course, goes for the rest of us too.
[Ok, I'm in a punchy mood. I've been leftwingidiocied at all day...]
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On
Behalf Of Michael B. Hubbard
Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2001 9:03 PM
Subject: I've got a speech...comments?
I've got speech for my local toastmasters group, and was wondering if anyone
would care to critique it. It's more in the style of a motivational speech
than anything really technical. I'm using the TM group as a test-bed for
some ideas on how to spread the extropian meme through public-speaking, and
would welcome any observations the list might have.
Awakening the Sleeper
An anonymous Internet pundit once wrote, "The world is so fast that there
are days when the person who says it can't be done is interrupted by the
person who is doing it." It doesn't take much looking around these days to
see that world is changing on multiple fronts at breakneck speed. The Human
Genome has been mapped. Computers are becoming more powerful, smaller, and
omnipresent. On the societal front the change is no less dizzying. The
nations of Europe have become the European Union. China has broken out of
its formerly third-world status to become a real potential rival to the
United States. We hear of protests and revolutions all over the world on
what seems to be a daily basis. In the financial world we move from being in
the longest sustained boom of the twentieth century to the troubled market
we now see each night on CNBC. The one constant of our times, it seems, is
change. And frankly, more and greater changes are approaching than we could
have formerly even conceived.
So how do we, as human beings living in the age of change, cope with the
constant barrage of new information, and the constantly shifting state of
the world? My answer is that we ourselves must change, even transform, to
face the challenges of our day. As Frank Herbert wrote in his epic novel
Dune, ""Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The
sleeper must awaken." I believe that we must awaken the sleeping giants
within ourselves to survive and thrive in this dawning age of change. But
what changes must we face?
First we have to be prepared to live longer. In 1990 there were just over 3
million people in the United States age 85 or older. In the past ten years
that number has risen by nearly a million and a half. The numbers for 75 to
84 have increased by two million. We as a nation are living longer, and
living fuller and more productive lives as we age, than we have in any point
in history. Medical technology has advanced enough, even assuming no further
growth in knowledge, that it is very likely that most if not all of the
people in this room could live to see one hundred years or better.
Next, be prepared for a more prosperous world. Over the next thirty years
there will be an unprecedented boom in production worldwide, ensuring a
worldwide standard of living and relative comfort never before possible. As
a result, our energies will be turned to creating and exploring on a level
not seen since the European renaissance. As the cost of travel across the
globe decreases and the flow of information increases, there will be more
opportunity for those who wish to travel to do so, and more contact with
people from different cultures both face to face and on the Internet.
Finally, be prepared for more choice in nearly every aspect of life. Already
choices of lifestyle and occupation are more diverse than ever before, and
the byproduct is an ever-increasing tolerance of those choices. As
productivity increases the trend toward more free time and more money to
spend on that time will only increase correspondingly.
So how do we prepare ourselves for these changes? First, take care of your
body, and try to expand your physical capabilities. While replacement parts
are becoming more common, my personal belief is that it is better to have
the original factory equipment until something truly better arrives.
Secondly, take care of your mind, and expand it whenever possible. Learn
languages, take courses, follow whatever interests you may have, but
continue to learn and expand your brainpower. In a world dominated by change
and possibility a flexible and well-trained mind is one of the best tools
you can have. Finally, strive for self-direction in every aspect of your own
life. Make goals, make decisions, seek out freedom and openness. I can't
tell you exactly how you should individually each prepare for and cope with
the coming changes in our world, as Franklin Roosevelt said, "There are many
ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still." What I can tell
you, though, is to strive to improve and expand yourself in any way you feel
is right for you. Challenge yourself to learn and grow. Awaken your sleeper.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:48 MDT